Port of Walla Walla eyes increased airport parking

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WALLA WALLA — Plans for more parking at the Walla Walla Regional Airport are moving forward.

The Port of Walla Walla, which operates the airport, will consider adding 47 spaces to the lot when Port commissioners meet Thursday at 6 p.m. at 310 A St.

The new stalls are slated for the northwest corner of the lot, in the green space that makes up the loop where vehicles drop off and pick up passengers.

Commission President Paul Schneidmiller said the spaces are primarily to help with overflow parking during busy travel times, but also for traffic generated by meetings at the terminal building and businesses inside the building, include Dominick’s on the Runway, PocketiNet and the Walla Walla Small Business Development Center.

“What we’ve noticed during the peak time periods is that our parking lot has been full to overflowing,” Schneidmiller said.

The construction this spring picks up after the project stalled last year due to higher-than-expected bids, he said.

Five contractors responded to the Port’s Feb. 13 request for proposals. Construction includes asphalt surfacing, curb and gutter, storm drain, irrigation, lighting and landscaping. One difference with this year’s project was the removal of a timeline that would have given the contractor 25 working days to place all hot-mix asphalt.

Port Executive Director Jim Kuntz is recommending commissioners accept the lowest bid, from A&B Asphalt of Milton-Freewater. That bid came in at $143,438.45, which includes sales tax.

The proposed capital allocation was $194,000. With the bid, plus 10 percent contingency, sales tax and engineering services, the total is $187,634.26 — a little more than $6,000 less than budgeted. Staff recommends establishing a total project budget of $188,000.

Schneidmiller said the work should be enough to address overflow. There is room at the property for future expansion should demand grow.

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