Local News

Fort Bragg Invades Harnett County to Help With Civil Projects

Posted March 23, 1999

— For the past few months, some of Harnett County's most pressing civil projects have been completed by an army of workers, literally.

This spring, earth moving machines will outnumber flying machines at the Harnett County Airport.

And the majority of people giving directions at the airport are wearing army fatigues.

The 20th Engineering Brigade fromFort Braggis extending the runway at the county airport.

"We expect ultimately to have some 200 soldiers working on this project and some 60 major pieces of equipment," said Col. Bo Temple of the 20th Engineering Brigade.

The military unit is working with Harnett County as part of an agreement signed when Fort Bragg bought a huge tract of prime residential real estate off NC 87. The real estate could have generated thousands of dollars in tax revenues.

"Harnett County was losing about 7,000 acres. So, this was one of many projects that Harnett County requested that the military provide," said Tony Wilder, assistant county manager.

The runway extension is not the only project the army engineers are doing in Harnett County.

Soldiers also built a road leading to the county government complex, and they graded the land for the county's center for the mentally and physically disabled.

"We figure it's probably worth well over a million dollars to Harnett County," explained Wilder.

The runway extension is the Army's final project for Harnett County. Airplanes will again dominate the landscape at the airport when the engineers complete the project in mid-June.

The Army engineers say they will move 150,000 cubic yards of dirt to make the ground for the runway level. That comes out to 6,000 dump trucks full of dirt.

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