Airport runway project moves to design phase

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT) The Grand Junction Regional Airport Authority met ‪Wednesday night to discuss the airport's new runway project.

"The airport has been in the planning phases since 2009," said Ryan Haes, who is the project manager.

Now officials are moving onto phase two, which is the design phase.

"The design phase is slated to go for about 15 months so should be completed by the end of next summer," said Haes.

The current runway was built in 1958, so Haes it's time for an upgrade.

"The pavement has a useful life and it's going to reach the end of its useful life at some point," said Haes.

The other runway isn't long enough for the commercial airliners.

"So that necessitates building this replacement we can minimize operations to the airlines and cargo operators but still replace the runway with a new replacement," Haes said.

It's estimated the project will cost anywhere from $80 million to $100 million dollars, most of which will come from the airport improvement program.

"You pay a ticket tax each time you get on an air carrier airline and all that money goes into the aviation trust fund which funds the airport improvement program," Haes said.

The current runway will remain open when construction on the new one, The old one will become a taxiway.

"It's 90 percent federally funded with a 10 percent local match, Haes said.

Haes added the construction phase could take anywhere from seven to 10 years.

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