Work could begin in the fall of 2020 on the building of a new 10,500-foot runway at the Grand Junction Regional Airport.
Officials with the airport, located at 2828 Walker Field Drive, have long been talking about the need for a new runway, noting that the current runway, of roughly the same length, was originally constructed in the 1950s.
Those same officials have also noted that that current runway is no longer up to Federal Aviation Administration standards.
After years of planning, the airport is now receiving two grants from the FAA totaling $5.2 million to be applied to the runway project.
That money is coming from the FAA’s Airport Improvement Program and is part of a larger $3.2 million in grants just announced by Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao.
It was earlier thought that the original runway could be simply rebuilt, but Grand Junction Regional Airport officials eventually decided that the airport could not afford to be closed for the period of time required to bring that runway up to date.
Instead, the airport will remain open as work takes place on a new runway located about a quarter of a mile to the north of the current runway.
Upon the new runway’s completion, the current runway will be repurposed as a taxiway.
Originally opened as the Grand Junction Municipal Airport in 1930, the facility sees up to 45,000 aircraft operations on an annual basis, serving more than 452,000 passengers.
Design work on the new runway project has already begun. Actual construction of the runway could take up to 10 years to complete.
By Garry Boulard
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