Officials hope new entrance paves way for airport success

EDA has provided civil engineering, planning and surveying services to the Gainesville Regional Airport for years. We’re proud to have assisted in the design and permitting of the new airport access road highlighted in this article in The Gainesville Sun. Not only is it visually appealing, this new road opens up 40 acres of prime real estate for development that will support the airport!

For travelers, the opening of a new entrance off of Waldo Road provides another way to enter Gainesville Regional Airport.

For businesses, the road also provides access to 40 acres of airport property envisioned for a possible office park, hotel, restaurant and aviation businesses.

Airport officials held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday morning as the new road opened between the airport and Waldo Road just under a mile away. The $2.4 million road was funded mostly from federal and state grants, with the airport picking up $50,000 of the cost.

Construction took more than two years, but the road has been in the airport’s plans since 1987. Gainesville rezoned the 40 acres for business industrial use in 2011.

Airport CEO Allan Penksa said any development would be in cooperation with the city and county and private investors. The airport should be finishing its master plan update in the next 30 days, after which it can start discussions in earnest about how to proceed, he said.

In addition to the 40 acres, the county has been planning to relocate the fairgrounds from adjacent land to the south and turn that property into a business park.

County economic development director Edgar Campa-Palafox said after the ribbon-cutting that county commissioners will probably take up what to do next with the fairgrounds in April.

The commission ended negotiations last September to move the fairgrounds to Auto Plus Raceway, formerly the Gainesville Raceway.