Curious about hole at the Arlington Airport?

ARLINGTON — A huge hole at the north end of Arlington Municipal Airport is raising questions among those who live nearby or walk the trail that borders the airfield.

The reason for the 10-acre hole is rather mundane: The ground is being leveled to improve runway safety and address potential groundwater runoff.

And it’s about to be filled in, said airport manager Rob Putnam.

The city-owned airport will fill and level about 18 acres in total around the runway. Putnam said several people have asked him about the hole.

The north end of the airport once was home to a municipal landfill on the east side and a sand and gravel pit where the hole is located, Putnam said. The former uses of the land left the property with widely varying elevations, he said.

To meet Federal Aviation Administration guidelines for height obstructions, trees and brush have been removed from the area. The grading project will allow the airport to plant grass, providing for a larger runway safety area, where an airplane pilot experiencing problems can put his plane down, Putnam said.

Clay fill dirt has been brought in and when the area has dried out this summer, topsoil will be spread over the area and grass planted. The hole also will be filled with large rock so water can collect there if needed, Putnam said.

As part of the project, the walking trail will be slightly rerouted, he said.

“Because we’ve done some digging and clearing in the area of the hole for the water runoff, I can see why people might think we’re digging instead of filling,” Putnam said.

Funding for the project includes some creative budgetary work, Putnam said. An airport tenant is bringing in the fill dirt on the former landfill area in exchange for an approximate $90,000 credit on the tenant’s lease, he said. The tenant is also donating fill material for the area where the hole is located. The amount credited to the tenant is substantially less than the 2002 project estimate of $268,000, Putnam said.

Reporter Gale Fiege: 425-339-3427 or

Talk to us

More in Local News

Jason Thompson (Marysville School District)
Agreed: Absent Marysville superintendent will resign in 2022

Jason Thompson, meanwhile, will not work and will be paid $21,630 per month through June 30.

A worker disassembles a fluidized bed incinerator at the Edmonds Wastewater Treatment Plant on Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021 in Edmonds, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
In Edmonds, $26M goes to a cleaner way to get rid of poop

The city will reduce its wastewater carbon footprint by dumping an incinerator and using new technology.

Marysville man shot in hand during apparent drug robbery

At least two suspects were being sought, and police are seeking surveillance video.

Tuesday's career fair will be at Everett Community College, which incidentally is also one of the participants. (Sue Misao / Herald file)
Snohomish County Career Fair set for Tuesday at EvCC

Job seekers can connect with more than 40 employers at this year’s annual event.

The Voting Commissioners of the Washington State Redistricting Commission released draft Legislative District maps Tuesday. (Washington State Redistricting Commission)
Early maps of legislative districts endanger some incumbents

Under one redistricting proposal, Mill Creek joins Everett. Under another, Monroe joins Wenatchee.

Driver who died in Everett car crash identified

Thomas Ogden, 43, was driving Tuesday morning on Rucker Avenue at 41st Street when another car crashed into his.

Granite Falls altercation: Dog killed, man shot in head

A 20-year-old man allegedly shot an intruder, 54, who threatened two people and killed their dog.

Arlington son, 19, charged with slaying his father

Nicholi Melum had been yelling at his son, Garner, when he was killed.

Michealob Johnson (left), 25, is accused of killing Jae An at the Food Mart in the 6900 block of Broadway in Everett. (Caleb Hutton / Herald file)
Trial begins for man who admitted killing a mini-mart clerk

Michealob Johnson is accused of aggravated first-degree murder in the 2019 stabbing death in Everett.

Most Read