(ANCHORAGE, Alaska) – The Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (DOT&PF) is moving forward with reconstructing runway 16/34 to a 3,300 length in Seward, replacing the damaged main runway 13/31, which has been compromised by repeated flooding events.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) signed the final environmental document this month, allowing the department to move forward with the estimated $20 to $30 million project, concluding five years of environmental and design work. The project will likely go to construction in 2021.
The project will shift, lengthen, and raise Runway 16/34 above the 100-year flood level. Some taxiways will be raised at the new runway intersection to meet the new runway elevation, while others will be closed in accordance with FAA regulations. New runway and taxiway lighting will be installed. The river side of the runway will receive erosion protection to prevent damage from flooding. The aprons will be repaved, and new navigation aids will be installed. The main runway (13/31) and Taxiway A will be closed permanently. The design calls for airport fencing to ensure safety by preventing airport incursions.
The proposed runway will be capable of supporting the King Air 200, which is the aircraft commonly utilized for medical evacuations.
The department explored the option of extending runway 16/34 to 4,000’, but federal aviation funding was not justified for the longer runway, based on the current and historic use of aircraft at the airport. DOT&PF is providing for a future 4,000’ runway by planning for the purchase of additional property, and by showing a 4,000-foot runway as an Ultimate Condition on the Airport Layout Plan, currently under development. These steps are required as a precursor to receiving FAA funding to construct a 4,000-foot runway in the future should aviation use change at the airport.
The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities oversees 239 airports, 10 ferries serving 35 communities, more than 5,600 miles of highway and 776 public facilities throughout the state of Alaska. The mission of the department is to “Keep Alaska Moving through service and infrastructure.”
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