Thursday, September 22, 2016

Bismarck awards first phase of airport runway renovation

More than $20 million in contracts were awarded Wednesday for Phase I of Bismarck Airport's runway project, which will involve the replacement of surfaces as old as 60 years.

The Bismarck City Commission named Strata Corp. of Grand Forks the general contractor, with a $19.37 million bid. Edling Electric was awarded the electrical contract for $781,024.

Greg Haug, airport manager, said the city has budgeted $24.3 million in 2017 for the first part of the three-phase project.

"The bulk of that construction will take place next summer. It will consist of 2,200 feet of the south end of the main runway," said Haug.

He described this phase as complicated because some airport operations will have to be moved. He estimated the work would start in May and finish in November.

Phase II is scheduled to be done from spring to late fall 2018. That $32 million project will concentrate on 5,500 feet in the midsection of the runway, he said.

In the third and final phase, 1,100 feet of runway will be replaced in the north section at a cost of $12 million. 

The runway is simply aging, Haug noted.

"Some parts of the pavement are from 1952, 1957, from the 1960s and the 1970s. After so many decades, it's just time to reconstruct," he said. "It's just starting to get bad from underneath. We have no edge or underside drainage of the pavement."

He said airport officials have been working with airlines for the past two years to possibly adjust flight sizes, but he said service should not be interrupted by the runway project.

Funding for the projects will come from the Federal Aviation Administration, the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission, airport cash reserves, a revenue bond, passenger fees and financing from the city.

Bismarck City Commissioner Josh Askvig, who holds the airport portfolio, said about $3.5 million more is budgeted for Phase I of the project. The money would cover engineering fees, project management fees and design and bid processing fees for KLJ, as well as FAA reimbursement for testing and the cost of relocating utilities.

Haug said Phases II and III have yet to be designed or bid out. He expects Phase II bids to be awarded by September 2017. 


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