By Kristen Painter
Denver International Airport will receive $7 million from the Federal Aviation Administration to repair one of the airport’s runways, Colorado U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet said Tuesday.
The grant is the result of the FAA Reauthorization Bill,which was passed by Congressand signed into law by President Barack Obama in February.
The FAA notified affected members of Congress on Tuesday in advance of the formal announcement.
“This grant is an important tool to keep DIA a major economic driver for the Denver-metro region and the state,” Bennet said in a press release. “This grant will help ensure DIA has the resources to maintain its busy runways.”
The $7 million will be used on DIA’s North-South runway on the terminal’s east side. It will cover just more than 20 percent of the approximately $30 million runway project.
Some of the runway improvements include panel replacement, widening the runway shoulders, and replacing the quartz lights with LED lighting. Construction will begin in 2013.
For 2011 and 2012, DIA received approximately $20 million per year from the FAA for similar projects, said Laura Coale, spokeswoman for DIA.
Bennet and Colorado U.S. Sen. Mark Udall — both Democrats — helped pass the bill through the Senate.
Colorado’s Representatives in the House were split with five in favor of it and two opposed.
The grant is a slice of the $3.35 billion that were appropriated for the Airport Improvement Plan. The bill appropriates a total of $63.4 billion to fund the agency through 2015.