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 French Valley, Thermal airports targeted for improvements

Project rehabilitation at the French Valley Airport will include pressure washing, crack cleaning and filling of cracks, among other things. Kim Harris photo
RIVERSIDE – Riverside County supervisors last week approved an Ontario-based firm to handle design plans for rehabilitation projects at French Valley Airport near Murrieta and Jacqueline Cochran Airport in Thermal, both of which need improvements to their runways and taxiways.
The Economic Development Agency selected Mead & Hunt Inc., which specializes in aviation infrastructure work, to oversee both projects, and the Board of Supervisors signed off on the agency’s request in a 5-0 vote without comment.
According to EDA documents, Runway 18/36 at French Valley, along with the main taxiway and five connector taxiways are showing signs of wear and will require surface upgrades in the near future.
“The project rehabilitation is anticipated to include … pressure washing, crack cleaning and filling of cracks … repair of major size cracks, a slurry seal of the pavements and the application of new pavement markings,” according to an agency statement.
The runway consists of 55,000 square yards of pavement, while the main taxiway covers roughly 31,500 square yards, officials said.
Mead & Hunt will receive $85,915 for designing the French Valley rehab.
At Jacqueline Cochran Airport, Runway 17/35, along with the main taxiway paralleling that runway, revealed signs of “low severity” cracking in several places during an inspection, according to the EDA. The cracks will need to be filled, though the rehab process was not characterized as imperative.
The agency noted that a slurry seal treatment was applied in 2007 and remains in “satisfactory condition.”
Mead & Hunt will receive $158,472 for the work in Thermal, documents showed.
The two airports are managed by the EDA’s Aviation Division, which also oversees fields in Blythe, Hemet and Chiriaco Summit.

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