Work has started to protect the Quad City International Airport from flooding and to keep birds away from the planes.
Operations Manager Joe Goetz says when the Rock River reaches flood stage and higher, water backs up at the far east end of the airport, near the main commercial runway. The project will raise the level of this land by four feet.
"No work on the actual runway itself, all taking place on the grass off the end of the runway which then requires us to close the runway working so close to it. But really focused on safety - reducing the standing water in that area which in turn reduces the risk avian species pose to aircraft."
The project will not affect passengers or air traffic, and commercial planes will use another runway. The cost is 6 million dollars, with 80 per cent from the Federal Aviation Administration, and 5 per cent each from the state of Illinois and the Quad City Airport.
Work started Monday and it should be completed by September.