February 15, 2017 Edition

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Airport hires engineering firm

Megan Heyl
Staff Writer

The Walnut Ridge Regional Airport Commission approved to contract with McClelland Consulting Engineers, Inc., of Little Rock for the next five years.

The firm will work with the airport on any projects it may have, as well as providing a variety of planning, design, funding and construction services.

Commissioners met with both McClelland and Miller-Newell Engineers, Inc., of Newport Thursday morning. Commission Chair Don Cavenaugh said that both firms were good candidates, having worked with several airports of similar size.

However, Cavenaugh said McClelland received the contract due to it being a more full-service firm that wouldn't require much sub-contracting, which often slows down projects.

McClelland has been providing service in Arkansas for more than 50 years. Arkansas airports the firm has worked with include Pocahontas, Corning, Pine Bluff and Warren.

Cavenaugh said the firm's experience working with the Federal Aviation Administration and State Department of Aeronautics is crucial. He added that McClelland has worked with many airports of similar size to Walnut Ridge and understands how to obtain grants and get projects done.

According to Cavenaugh, the airport may still contract with other firms while under the contract with McClelland's should the need occur due to associated costs or other factors which may deter them from using McClelland. Cavenaugh said the airport would consider Miller-Newell in such projects as the commission was very impressed with the firm.

A walkthrough of the airport with McClelland was held Tuesday morning. The firm used that time to review any projects needing to be done at the airport, as well as reviewing possible grants to aid in those projects.

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