Powerful gusts of wind were sweeping across Municipal airport Friday morning, but they weren't bothering the machines on the runways one bit, for the modernization and improvement of the airport is underway! Instead of airplanes, the most gosh-awful looking gadgets now have possession of the field.
For the amazement of curbside engineers, there is one giant machine which resembles a wasp with his nasty stinger curved downward. On the end of the "stinger" is a never-ending string of sharp-toothed buckets which go around and around, scooping up mouthfuls of dirt with each pass. This monstrous thing digs a six or seven-foot ditch with the greatest of ease.
Another cute little whing-ding in operation there is called a "Scoop-mobile." Funny thing. It doesn't scoop at all. It lifts. In the bottom of the trench dug by the wasp-like machine, go big 21-inch precast concrete tile. They weigh nearly 1,000 pounds apiece. Little Mr. Scoop-mobile waddles over to the pile on his caterpillar feet, deftly lifts one of the heavy tile, hoists it over the hole and drops it into exact position.
Seven lines of these mammoth tubes are to go into and around the main intersection and will keep the runways dry and firm. We hope.
Next comes taxi-ways and the blacktopping of the north and south runway--making for a fine airport. At the present time, however, transient flying into Municipal should do so with a great deal of caution.
The north and south and the big diagonal runway should not be used at all. The east and west runway is still in the clear and can be used. Local traffic is using the field quite safely, but my advice to visitors is --don't.
Men and machines will be busy as bees for several weeks at Municipal airport while the improvements are being installed, so if you want to exercise your engineering urge, there is lots of room for spectators. You are welcome to do like I do. Drive out, park on the airport, watch these men efficiently doing their job, then leave muttering in your head that "that ain't the way I'd do it, if I was doing it."
Warsaw Daily Union, Fri. Apr. 9, 1948