20190205_CheyenneRegionalAirport2 FILE

People enter the terminal at Cheyenne Regional Airport on Monday, Feb. 4, 2019. Wyoming Tribune Eagle/file

CHEYENNE – Cheyenne Regional Airport has received a $350,000 federal airport infrastructure grant for a runway reconstruction design project.

The grant funding from the Federal Aviation Administration’s Airport Improvement Program will be administered by the Wyoming Department of Transportation’s Aeronautics Division.

Tim Barth, director of aviation, said the grant will provide funding for the design phase for reconstructing the airport’s main runway, designated as runway 9/27. He said the majority of pavement on the runway is more than 50 years old.

“Pavement that old is going to need to be replaced,” Barth said. “We’re happy that we got 50 years out of it. We’re doing the planning portion right now. That will take care of us through the design aspect until we’re ready to bid it next spring.”

Barth said the project commenced this week with crews obtaining core samples and drilling through the runway to test the sub-grade to help determine a reconstruction design.

The state’s Aeronautics Division also is involved with planning and engineering the project.

“We’re expecting to do the runway reconstruction over three years – we’ll do a third (of the runway) a year,” he said. “The reason we’re doing that is, one, we’re in Wyoming and our construction season is short. (And) two, we need to make special accommodations to keep the airport open for airline service and the Wyoming Air National Guard.”

The total cost for reconstructing the runway is about $40 million, according to Barth. He said the majority of the funding, around 97%, will come from the FAA, with the remaining balance coming from the state of Wyoming, the Wyoming Air National Guard and the airport.

The project put forward in the planning phase was approved by the Wyoming Aeronautics Commission through the Aeronautics Division’s Wyoming Aviation Capital Improvement Program.

Selected projects through the FAA grant program include runway reconstruction and rehabilitation, construction of firefighting facilities, and maintenance of taxiways, aprons and terminals.

“This significant investment in airport improvements in Wyoming will fund construction and rehabilitation projects that will help maintain high levels of safety in U.S. aviation,” Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao said in a statement.

The FAA usually awards between $30 million and $35 million to Wyoming airports each year. The state provides an average of $8.5 million yearly to match federal or local funds for airport development.

Other awards announced recently include a $7.4 million grant to Casper/Natrona County International Airport to rehabilitate an apron, and a $2 million grant to Laramie Regional Airport to renovate and expand the terminal building.

This is in addition to $20 million awarded to Wyoming airports announced in June and July. Some of those projects include:

  • $500,000 to the State of Wyoming to update the state’s system plan study.
  • $149,400 to the North Big Horn County Airport in Cowley to improve airport drainage and install airport beacons.
  • $2.5 million to Jackson Hole Airport for airport access road repair.
  • $5.1 million to the Southwest Wyoming Regional Airport in Rock Springs to install navigational aids, reconstruct a taxiway, repair a taxiway and repair taxiway lighting.
  • $600,000 to Converse County Airport in Douglas to repair runway lighting and to install navigational aids and a runway vertical/visual guidance system.
  • $522,000 to Torrington Municipal Airport for runway repairs.
  • $429,129 to the Johnson County Airport in Buffalo to buy snow-removal equipment.
  • $350,000 to the Dixon Airport for runway repairs.
  • $250,000 to Powell Municipal Airport to build a taxiway.

Steve Knight is the Wyoming Tribune Eagle’s local government reporter. He can be reached at 307-633-3182 or sknight@wyomingnews.com.

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