City OKs deal for AirPark road work

Road improvements soon will be coming to portions of the Columbus AirPark that city officials say will be beneficial in attracting future businesses.

The city has hired Hasco Inc. to perform micro-surfacing work on five streets on the AirPark campus that is expected to begin in the next few weeks. The Columbus Board of Works approved a $142,754 contract with the Lebanon-based firm.

Improvements will be made on Whitney Court, Kelly Street, Wade Drive, Chappa Drive and Ray Boll Boulevard.

Micro-surfacing mixes a liquid seal coat and a thin overlay in the paving of a street that has aggregate material in it, said Dave Hayward, executive director of public works/city engineer. The material will help make roads more skid resistant, he said.

Hayward said the mix was used in 2016 to make improvements on First Street behind Columbus City Hall, helping extend the life of a road.

“It gives us a little more time before we have to do something serious,” Hayward said.

Road improvements at the AirPark will help continue to prepare for growth, airport director Brian Payne said.

“It’s a perfect step for development in the area,” Payne said.

Payne said the Columbus AirPark, which encompasses 400 acres, has been taking steps for future activity in recent months.

The Columbus Redevelopment Commission earlier this month approved spending up to $326,217.51 in Tax Increment Financing district funds for a road extension of Vickers Drive that also includes the extensions of water and sewer lines. That work is expected to play an important role in attracting future developments, Payne said.

Land near Vickers Drive and Poshard Drive are the next pieces of AirPark property being prepared for development, he said.

Bidding documents tied to the Vickers Drive project are expected to go out soon with hopes that construction can begin in July or August, Payne said.

The airport had sent out Request for Proposals to developers a few years ago, but was unable to attract interest for restaurants or retail businesses, he said.

Payne said he is hopeful that interest by developers will increase as improvements continue to be made on the AirPark campus, which is home to several businesses and higher education institutions such as IUPUI and Ivy Tech Community College. Payne said he believes the area is a good fit for restaurants and other retail establishments.

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Matt Kent is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at 812-379-5712 or