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Project to Improve Main Runway at Skagit Regional Airport Set to Begin

Burlington – The Port of Skagit has issued a notice to proceed to its contractor for the first phase of major improvements to the main runway at Skagit Regional Airport, the Board of Commissioners learned April 19.

The project to upgrade Runway 10-28, which was built by the U.S. Navy during World War II, will span two years to accommodate the short Northwest construction seasons and will cost an estimated $15.3 million, said Sara Young, manager of planning and environmental services for the Port of Skagit.

Funding from the Federal Aviation Administration will cover 95 percent of the design and construction cost, Young added.

The port has awarded a contract for $2,533,826.30 to Interwest Construction Inc., Burlington, for the first phase of construction. The Bellingham office of Precision Approach Engineering designed the project and is providing project oversight. The first phase will replace the runway’s failed under drain system with a new system located outside the boundaries of the runway pavement. Then a 2-inch-thick maintenance overlay, compatible with the pending crown conversion, will be placed on the runway to limit further deterioration of the surface. Lenses on runway edge lights in the last 2,000 of the runway will be replaced, and wildlife deterrent fencing will be installed.

 ICI plans to mobilize at the airport starting April 25. The first phase construction work will begin May 3 and is to be substantially completed by the end of July, depending on weather and drainage conditions at the site. Runway 10-28 will be closed for a total of 75 days during construction, during which time Runway 04-22 will serve as the primary runway and will be temporarily lengthened to 4,000 feet. Both runways will be closed simultaneously for no more than one day during each of three separate simultaneous nighttime closure events.

 The second phase of the 10-28 project, taking place during the summer of 2012 or 2013, will convert the runway’s surface into a crown section, shifting the highest part of the runway from the northern edge to the centerline. This will require raising the existing grade on the centerline by approximately 14 inches and will bring the runway into conformance with Federal Aviation Administration standards. At the same time, the eastern 1,500 feet of the runway will be raised approximately five feet to make it more compatible with aircraft currently using the airport.

 The Port of Skagit will maintain a page on its web site throughout the project to give airport users and the general public access to up-to-date information about the ongoing work. The page is located at

If you are a reporter seeking information about the Port of Skagit, please call Linda Tyler, Community Outreach Administrator, at 360-757-0011 or email