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Newport Municipal Airport was a wonder of the aviation world in 1944

Modified: Thursday, Aug 7th, 2014

One of the few artifacts left from the airport’s early days is this ceiling projector, hoisted by airport operations manager Lance Vanderbeck. The brilliant light was used in conjunction with a sighting device to measure the base elevation of overhead clouds, calculations now done electronically. (Photo by Rick Beasley)

NEWPORT — Seventy years after its construction rocked the engineering world, signs of age are hard to come by at Newport Municipal Airport.

A pile of crumbling cement pipes, a mysterious concrete vault and wooden slats atop catch basins provide scant evidence of one of the largest airport construction projects in U.S. history when it was completed in 1944.

“It’s got good bones,” said Melissa Roman, the engineering technician who is the city’s project manager for a $9.7 million, 5,300-foot runway replacement job. “Their original work was outstanding.”

The runway project is the first major upgrade to original airport infrastructure since its construction at a cost of $1.5 million ($16 million in today’s dollars).

For the complete article see the 08-06-2014 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 08-06-2014 paper.

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