City of Ocala officials will look to award an Iowa-based company a contract for runway pavement maintenance at the Ocala International Airport.
The contract will come before the Ocala City Council during its regular meeting on Tuesday, November 2. City council members will look to award Gee Asphalt Systems, Inc., a Cedar Rapids-based company, the contract after the organization came in as the low bidder for the project.
Of the five bids received, only one was from a local company out of Wildwood, Florida (CW Roberts Contracting, Inc.). Gee Asphalt Systems’ bid came in at $256,596, nearly $140,000 less than the next closest bid from Remac, Inc. at $394,356.50.
For over a decade, Ocala International Airport staff has worked with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) officials to perform pavement maintenance, including crack sealing and seal coating, of the airport’s main runaway. The last pavement overlay of the airport took place in 2009.
In recent years, the airport has seen a marked increase in traffic and activity, including two separate stops by former President Donald J. Trump. Trump, who was the first sitting president to ever visit Ocala, drew thousands of residents during one of his campaign stops in October 2020.
According to city records submitted by Ocala Airport Director Matt Grow, transverse cracks along the shoulders have worked through the pavement. The original mix of pavement included a high concentration of iron oxides, which, when combined with water, created a “rusting effect that accelerates discoloration of the white runway paint” and effectively turns it yellow. The crack repair will prolong the pavement life of the runway as will the seal coat, and the seal coat will enhance airfield safety by preventing the yellowing of the pavement markings.
The Ocala City Council meets on the first and third Tuesday of every month, at 5 p.m. at Ocala City Hall (110 SE Watula Avenue).