The Piedmont Triad Airport Authority has awarded a major contract in its effort to convert a former golf course near the airport into property that can be used for aviation industry businesses with runway access.

At the Airport Authority’s Tuesday, July 23 meeting, the board voted to award a contract to Wright Brothers Construction Co. Inc. of Charleston, Tennessee for the grading and construction effort that’s part of Piedmont Triad International Airport (PTIA) Northwest Development Project.

The work in the contract approved is phase 2 and it includes the clearing of land and the initial grading of 132 acres that make up the former Pleasant Ridge Golf Course.

The total contract amount is just over $6 million – Wright Brothers beat out one other bidder for the job by about $2.5 million.

The project is eligible for 100 percent funding from the NCDOT Division of Aviation.

PTIA is constructing an 800-plus acre megasite to attract economic development in the aviation industry, and the golf course land will be part of that site.  The airport has owned the course for years; however, airport officials let it remain open for play until recently since progress on the megasite hadn’t reached the point at which the course had to be shut down.

Part of the airport’s megasite project is a “taxiway bridge” over I-73 that connects the course property to the airport.  Since the bridge is complete and the golf course is closed for business, the Airport Authority was ready to award the contract at its July meeting.