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Harvey Field proposal relocates, reconfigures Airport Way

SNOHOMISH — To meet FAA compliance, Harvey Field’s runway needs to be lengthened.
To do that, the road that curls around the end of the runway has to be relocated farther away.
Harvey Field’s proposal lengthens the runway to 2,400 feet and widens it to 75 feet. It would have a single runway instead of having a paved runway and a grass runway parallel to each other.
The Federal Aviation Administration requires clear, unobstructed takeoff and landing paths.
Located south of the Snohomish River, Harvey Field’s runway sits between the well-trafficked Airport Way and a railroad.
The airport bought the farmland to the south of Airport Way. A reconfigured
Airport Way would go through this land, swooping around at a more gradual turn to reach state Route 9, airport owner Kandace Harvey said.
At stake behind the work is funding. The FAA will restrict giving grants if the airport's out of compliance, Harvey said. Without funding, it would be tough for the airport to make improvements on its own, she said.
Nothing’s for certain. The county would have to agree to moving the road, and the private airport lacks any overriding authority on that.
Harvey said the airport would help pay to build the new road, and could tap the FAA for money toward relocating the road since the project is for the airport.
Harvey envisions people would like the new road. It would have shoulders and a much gentler curve, she described.
The notice of the public comment period and public meeting came out Friday afternoon.
People can comment on the scope of the plans from Dec. 1 to Dec. 31.
A public open house about it is scheduled be held Thursday, Dec. 1 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the airport’s Hangar 15 Event Center, 9900 Airport Way, Snohomish.
Emailed comments can be sent to julie.barrow@rsandh.com
Handwritten comments can be mailed to Julie Barrow, RS&H, 4582 South Ulster Street, Suite 1100, Denver, CO 80237.
The comments will be built into a draft environmental assessment to be prepared in 2023. This step of the environmental process may be complete in the first half of 2024, Harvey said.
The plan’s been being worked on for a few decades now, and faced many hurdles. One is that the airport and the whole of the south Snohomish area is in a flood plain. The valley where the road would be relocated might require extensive dirt to raise it up. A road design isn’t produced yet.
The runway’s north-sound orientation would stay generally the same. “There are favorable winds there,” Harvey said.
Harvey wants to use the existing runway and attach the taxiway to it. It just got a $1.4 million repave last year.
The FAA may still obligate this runway be repositioned either a little to the left or to the right, requiring all of that be demolished to lay down a new one, Harvey feared.
The airport’s reason to lengthening the runway is complying with the FAA, not to expand what planes the airport can accommodate, Harvey said.
Private personal jet pilots, for example, recommend runway lengths twice as long as Harvey’s proposal, from aviation forums.
Lastly, Buzz Inn Restaurant will be staying, Harvey said.
Harvey Field started as a private operation in 1944 when a runway was built on the family’s longtime homestead.

  

 

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