Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Digging in before the deep freeze

After some unseasonably warm temperatures and, of course, rain yesterday (along with a few rare November tornadoes in the state), a brisk chill is in the air and the flurries are a-blowin' today. Winter is right around the corner and we are getting as much as possible done on site before the grounds go into a deep freeze.

As I addressed in my last blog update, repairing and improving drainage around the grounds is the No. 1 priority going into AirVenture 2011. Judging from the member feedback we received from surveys, you agree that should be on top of the list. We are moving ahead with improving the drainage in three major areas that were most problematic last July: Camp Scholler, Warbirds area, and Vintage area. After work is done in those areas, we will move on to smaller, sporadic areas that could use some attention.

In these two photos, work has begun to improve drainage on Schaick Rd., just west of Doolittle Dr. in Camp Scholler.

One interesting item helping us in this process is the recent discovery of old, abandoned drainage tile buried on the grounds. As you may know, the grounds were vast farm fields long before it became home to EAA and AirVenture. Using these drainage outlets will only help us in our quest to eliminate problem areas where standing water could appear.

Another major improvement for 2011 will be chip-sealing more roads in Camp Scholler as well as Foundation Road leading out to the North 40 from Waukau Ave., which is a major part of our traffic loop. This was another major area noted on the survey feedback, as the chip-sealing of the exhibit areas as well as a few initial roads in Camp Scholler garnered rave reviews. Dust was noticeably less in the areas of chip-sealed roads than in previous years, and was a significant improvement from ordinary dirt/gravel roads by having the ability to withstand the rains much better.

Below, here you see potholes and standing water among the dust and gravel on Foundation Rd.

That's it for now, but I'll try to check back in after the holidays to give you an update of where we stand going into the spring thaw. Until then, safe flying and have a great Thanksgiving!