Work is progressing on a $150 million construction project that will replace the current runway at the Grand Junction Regional Airport.
The project, which is slated for completion in early 2026, is currently on schedule, according to airport Director of Planning and Development Eric Trinklein.
“They’re making some progress,” he said.
One piece of the effort, relocating a portion of 27¼ Road to move it out of the new runway’s protection zone, was recently completed in October. It is required by the Federal Aviation Administration that the road be 2,500 feet away from the runway, Trinklein said. A roughly 1.5-mile chunk of road was shifted about a half mile west.
Current work includes installing property and security fencing and moving and upgrading utility infrastructure. The airport will install 7 miles of property fencing to protect against wildlife and 4 miles of security fencing. The fencing should be complete by June 2020.
Paving for the new runway will likely occur near the end of the project.
“The goal is to be done by 2026 so they’ll probably start paving in 2025,” Trinklein said.
The new runway will be 600 feet north of where the current runway sits. That runway was built in the 1950s and will become a taxiway once the new runway is operational. The new runway will be 2 miles long and 150 feet wide, the same dimensions of the current runway.
The airport has already received millions of dollars in FAA grants and will receive more during the construction phase of the project. In the end, 90% of the project will be funded by federal grants. The remaining 10% will come from the airport.
To secure some of the land needed for the project, the Bureau of Land Management transferred 188 acres of its land to the airport. The process for this started in 2011, according to the airport.
In return, the airport contributed $250,000 toward the construction of a recreation staging area on 27¼ Road. BLM plans to start construction of a new parking area in the late fall.