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BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Construction is nearly complete on the first phase of rebuilding the main runway at the Bismarck Airport.

Contractors will wrap up the first phase of the runway overhaul in mid-October, The Bismarck Tribune reported . That phase involves replacing 2,200 feet (670 meters) of old asphalt.

Remaining work includes some dirt work for drainage and grooving of the runway for traction and drainage.

The city has approved the contracts for the second phase, which concentrates on 5,500 feet (1,676 meters) in the midsection of the runway. The second phase is expected to begin next spring and is slated to cost nearly $50 million.

The third phase includes the remaining 1,500 feet (457 meters) of runway, which is expected to cost between $14 and $15 million.

“It will be nice,” said Tim Thorsen, the airport’s assistant director. “The community will be well served.”

The runway rebuilding is part of an effort to keep up with rising passenger numbers.

Airport Director Greg Haug said the city had no choice but to replace the aging runway to keep up with demand. He said the project will provide “50 years of great runway.”

Project administrators are depending on federal discretionary and entitlement funds. Haug said the airport may consider revenue bonds if more funding is necessary.

“We’ll wait and see how it all shakes out in the next phase,” he said.

Planes will be shifted to a different runway next summer to allow flights to continue.


Information from: Bismarck Tribune,