The Federal Aviation Administration is sending more than $1.6 million to five Arkansas cities to improve or expand taxiways at local airports, including Grider Field at Pine Bluff.

The Federal Aviation Administration is sending more than $1.6 million to five Arkansas cities to improve or expand taxiways at local airports, including Grider Field at Pine Bluff.

Pine Bluff will get $254,034 to rehabilitate the taxiway at Grider Field Airport. Airport Manager Doug Hale said he and the Pine Bluff Aviation Commission are looking forward to getting the project under way. The project is being advertised and they expect to have bids back soon, which will give them a better idea of the total cost estimate for the project.

“The runway was resurfaced last year and we’re hoping to complete the taxiway this year, and then we’re hoping to bank our Federal Aviation Administration Airport Improvement Program entitlement funds for next year, 2013, and then we’re hoping to complete the third and final phase, which would be resurfacing the pavement on the ramp apron area,” Hale said.

Hale said the FAA gives airports a certain amount of funding each year, but airports must submit a five-year funding plan in March before the FAA will approve the funding. Usually, a project like this one would be funded 100 percent by the FAA and the Arkansas Department of Aeronautics, but changes in the federal funding formula have called that into question this year.

Hale said he expects to know by the July ADA meeting if the state will pick up the remainder of the cost for the project or if the commission will have to come up with 5 percent of the total project cost.

Other airport allocations in Arkansas include:

• Carlisle — $157,500 to improve its runway;

• Warren and Clarksville — $545,835 each to construct taxiways at their municipal airports;

• Rogers — $141,300 to reconstruct the taxiway at Rogers Municipal-Carter Field.

The grants were announced Thursday in a joint press release issued by Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark., and Reps. Steve Womack, R-Rogers, Mike Ross, D-Prescott, Tim Griffin, R-Little Rock, and Rick Crawford, R-Jonesboro.

“These federal investments will help make the necessary infrastructure and safety improvements to keep these airports open and these communities growing,” Ross said.

Constructing taxiways at Clarksville and Warren municipal airports will mean that the runways can be used exclusively for landing and takeoff.

The taxiway Carter Field has reached the end of their useful life, according to the delegation release.

At Carlisle, the rehabilitation work is designed to help maintain the structural integrity of the pavement and minimize foreign object debris on the runway, they said.