What’s that construction near 431? Latest phase of expansion at Guntersville Municipal Airport near anticipated completion

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GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) -- The latest phase of an expansion at the Guntersville Municipal Airport is expected to be complete in the next several weeks.

If you've driven 431 between Huntsville and Guntersville lately, you probably noticed a lot of dirt being moved at Guntersville Municipal Airport. It's part of an expansion that should be finished in the next several weeks. "Right now, there's a lot of open dirt next to 431, and that's been part of the construction process," Airport Manager Bob Martin says. That area will be transformed into an attractive landscape when this latest expansion is complete.

"This phase, with the 5,000 feet, should be done sometime in March," Martin explains.

Construction started quite a few months ago on the first phase -- an expanded runway, hangars, and office space. "We opened the first 4,000 feet of the runway back in June. Now we're seven months into it and we're hopefully a few weeks away from adding the final 1,005 feet to give us a full, 5,000, foot runway," Martin says.

The expanded runway provides the capabilities for larger business aircraft to land. Economic development officials say that opens doors for more opportunities for businesses in the area.

"We are really looking at expanding areas for hangars," Martin says, "We've got a lot of available space now along the old runway, as well as the new airport entrance where we can build land lease, owner built hangars."

There are several well-known large companies interested in that option.

Airport officials are looking to more improvements after this latest phase is complete over the next couple of months. "There's still more construction to do," Martin says, "Our taxiway won't be finished for a couple of years, but we're making progress."

The airport also caters to sea planes and is looking to expand its presence in that area as well.