The board of Valley International Airport (VIA) in Harlingen, Texas, US, has approved the construction contract for extending the main runway, reported Valley Morning Star.

Following the approval, the plan now needs to be approved by the City Commission.

The project’s scope has been cut to decrease expenditures after the two bidders came in at $39.96m and $32.39m, according to the new report via Yahoo!News.

Initially, the cost of the project was in the range of $20m to $21m.

Following negotiations with the winning bidder, Foremost Paving, the new contract now stands at $27.41m.

Commenting on the initial bids, VIA assistant director of aviation Bryan Wren informed the board: “These were over-budget. We worked with the FAA and we also worked with the contractor to reduce the scope of the work.

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“We were able to accomplish that and the low bidder has agreed to the reductions in scope so we were actually able to shed approximately $5m of the contract price.”

Most of the savings in the project will arise from postponing the new navigational aids deployment at the airport.

The extension to the runway to the south will increase the longest runway at the airport from 8,301ft to 9,400ft.

According to the airport officials, this would become the longest runway south of Austin and Houston in Texas.

The navigation aids help pilots to guide their planes to land, especially when there is poor visibility conditions.

Given that VIA has two other runways, the airport officials expect disruptions to be minimal until the runway extension work is finished.

Ground-breaking is expected in October and the project is likely to complete in about a year, based on the weather conditions.

Image: The extension to the runway to the south will increase the longest runway at the airport from 8,301ft to 9,400ft. Credit:  Peter Biela from Pixabay .