Phase three of runway reconstruction project underway at Bismarck Airport

BISMARCK, N.D. - Construction season is underway, and it's no different at the Bismarck Airport.

The final phase of the runway construction started Monday morning and is expected to last all summer. The $64 million project is in its third phase. The past two summers, the southern and central parts of the main runway have been redone. This summer, they're finishing up the northern end.

About 1,500 feet of the most northern part of the main runway at Bismarck Airport is under construction. Plans for the three year, three phase project started more than five years ago.

“It was showing early signs of distress and when we start seeing those signs after a couple years your runway will start deteriorating very rapidly so we got ahead of it and are doing a full reconstruction,” Matthew Remynse, marketing and operations manager at the airport said.

Monday morning, the main runway was shut down to put up barricades where work will be done, and paint new lines. Planes are flying in on the cross runway until 5 p.m. Wednesday, when the main runway will reopen at 6,550 feet instead of the full 8,794 feet. It will stay at the 6,550 foot length until the project is complete.

“Now we'll have one uniform section so in the winter we won't have the freeze thaw cycle where the pavements aren't moving together, they'll move together so that was an important piece as well,” Remynse said.

Work includes removing old pavement, grading the area, constructing the safety area and building up the five layer, 58 inch base it takes to create the runway.

“It's very exciting to see this come to fruition,” Remynse said.

Work is scheduled to be done by Oct. 11. Out of the total $64 million cost, this phase is estimated to cost about $14 million.