Friday, May 23, 2014

Friedman runway reopens on schedule

Projects proceeding as planned

Express Staff Writer

     The Friedman Memorial Airport runway reopened as scheduled Thursday at noon, and Delta Flight 4489 from Salt Lake City landed 20 minutes later.

     The runway had been closed since April 22 to allow Western Construction to move the airport’s west-side taxiway 70 feet farther from the runway. The project was part of $34 million worth of construction intended to meet Federal Aviation Administration safety requirements and scheduled for completion by July 2015.

     “The work exceeds expectations, and so far, we’re on budget,” airport Manager Rick Baird said. “The T-O engineering team and the Western Construction team have been great.”

     Baird said the contractors were able to complete additional work ahead of time to connect the southern end of the taxiway to the runway.

     He said he expects another contractor, Knife River, to complete Phase I of the entire project by May 31. That portion, begun last fall, involves strengthening the pavement of an apron on the north side of the Atlantic Aviation building. That will allow large private planes to park there after they lose space on the south side of the building due to relocation of the taxiway. It also includes constructing new taxi lanes (cross connectors) to allow planes to reach T-hangars from the west side since the taxiway relocation obliterated the previous access from the east.

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