Sometimes robbing Peter to pay Paul works out for all concerned.
The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority is planning to use money that had been earmarked for parking garages at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, diverting it to cover the rising cost of needed improvements to pavement on the airfield.
The switcheroo of $45.8 million should not impact the structured-parking-garage effort, staff said, because a lower-cost alternative had been found to slash its budget from just under $105 million to just under $59 million.
The extra money will be used to augment the $114.3 million airfield-repavement program, bringing it to $160 million.
The 40-percent projected increase in that second project is due to a number of factors, staff said, including the desire for a thicker layer of asphalt pavement on the airport’s main Runway 1-19 and a larger pavement area for the secondary Runway 5-13, plus electrical and lighting modifications and additional pavement markings. Plus, of course, inflation and labor costs have spiked since the initial budget was approved in 2015.
Airports Authority officials decided to move the money to the repaving project, although they also are hoping that much of the cost will be covered by the federal government through the Federal Aviation Administration’s Airport Improvement Program. That initiative provides funding to support up to 75 percent of the cost of approved projects.