Ada officials sue over airport upgrade

By: Alex Belser Email
By: Alex Belser Email

ADA, OK - After an upgrade to the airport runways here, the city says two contractors botched the job by using the wrong asphalt.

The city is suing two companies that worked on the runways at Ada Municipal Airport for $1 million, arguing in court papers that the runways now need to be replaced again.

In 2005, the city signed Cummins Construction to redo the runways, but it now says workers used a type of asphalt not approved by the FAA.

The city says the FAA and Oklahoma Aerounatics Commission asked for $1 milion in grant money back when they learned the wrong type of asphalt was used. On Monday, council members passed a plan to start re-paying that money.

"The runway is functional the way it is," says George Braly of General Aviation Modifications, which is based at the airport. "From everyting I have seen, there was a breach of the contract and the FAA is properly concerned about it."

In court filings, the city argues it needs to remove the new runway and the companies never performed the required testing.

Cummins and Horizon Engineering dispute the city's claims, adding that the city was partly at fault, notes in the plans mentioned using "ODOT specifications" for asphalt, and saying that the city, FAA, and Aeronautics Commission approved those plans.

Braley said he is not concerned about the safety of the runways, but thinks that they may not be as durable in the long term.

The trial has been delayed several times. A pre-trial conference is now set for May 21.

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