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Crosswinds Runway at Robert J. Miller Airpark Set for Construction

Freeholders expected to award bid for project next week

After years of planning and of battles over the need for it, a crosswinds runway at Robert J. Miller Airpark in Berkeley Township is nearing reality.

The Ocean County Board of Freeholders is poised to award the bid for construction of the runway at next Wednesday’s meeting, the board announced Tuesday at its preboard meeting in Toms River.

The contract, for $5,806,037.50, is to be awarded to C.J. Hesse of Atlantic Highlands, $4 million of which is being funded by a grant from the Federal Aviation Administration.

Currently the airpark, which has been in operation since the 1960s, has a single runway. For pilots landing small planes, when the winds are blowing perpendicular to the runway -- across it instead of the same direction as the runway -- landings become very tricky, according to aviation experts. A crosswinds runway allows for a safer landing in those situations.

It's something the county has been seeking since the late 1960s, Freeholder Joseph H. Vicari has said.

Within the last year, the county has received support from the FAA and from the state Department of Transportation on the need for the runway, as well as from township officials in Berkeley.

But not everyone is in favor of the project. The Pinelands Alliance has criticized the project and fought it, saying the county is simply looking to expand the airport and take in more business, a charge the freeholders have rejected.

Stan Buchwald September 25, 2012 at 11:25 PM
Attract more business , I think that's good for the people of Ocean County. Are they going to use existing land the airport owns ,or are they going to expand? That's the question here. Safety is also paramount for the pilots that use the airport as well.
Scott Derek September 26, 2012 at 12:05 AM
I wish they'd fix the AWOS out there....it crashed on April 23rd! http://w1.weather.gov/obhistory/KMJX.html
Old Enough September 26, 2012 at 04:01 AM
27 years ago we were just done expeiencing Hurricane Gloria..
Old Enough September 26, 2012 at 04:03 AM
Yeah, the weather station has been down since spring. But somehow the weather channels weatherscan is still getting data from Miller Air Park, I could be wrong.
Old Enough September 26, 2012 at 04:15 AM
Atlantic City airport is going to be a larger hub for Intl flights as well as domestic flights. South Jersey has a potential to become a more developed area if we ever get another economic boon. Atlantic City resort areas are going to become family friendly more-so than it is currently. "Again, I caution with the words IF and Ever this economy recovers".
Martin September 26, 2012 at 11:14 AM
Another runway for the freeloaders' fat-cat political cronies with planes... paid for with taxpayers' money.
bayway mike September 26, 2012 at 05:07 PM
Once again, the needs of the few outweigh the needs of the many..Don't you think that whatever cash comes from the county for this project, could have been used in a better way like feed or shelter the homeless or a lower county tax rate?? Howmany people in your neighborhood have a pilots license and fly from this airport??
Cardinal September 26, 2012 at 09:14 PM
If it's a safety thing then you need it.
Rem September 27, 2012 at 01:13 AM
Lets see some figures of the airport. I am sure it is a loss. To many shady things they are doing with these property's. Why don't they put on the bottom of the lands trust signs Unless we need it for something else.
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