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Airport seeking $13M in FAA funds for runway project

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Theodore Roosevelt Regional Airport

Theodore Roosevelt Regional Airport is pursuing $13 million in Federal Aviation Administration funds for the next phases of its runway reconstruction and rehabilitation project.

Of the funds, $11.6 million would be used for Phases 3 and 4 of the super taxiway construction.

"That's the temporary runway we're building, which will become our parallel taxiway when we reconstruct our main runway," Airport Manager Kelly Braun said. "It's for the second half of that runway. We'd do the first half this year, the second half next year."

Phases 5 and 6 are the reconstruction of the main runway, which starts in 2021.

The application also include $1.4 million for land acquisition.

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A condemnation suit against neighboring lands needed for the project was approved in October.

The airport applied for a land acquisition grant last year, Braun reported at Tuesday's meeting of the Dickinson Municipal Airport Authority.

"That amount was $458,188," Braun said. "I just sent a letter to the (FAA airport district office) amending that grant and turning that back. We'll get that money back plus additional funds in this next grant application, this coming year."

The total project is expected to cost $64 million. The work is being done by Dickinson-based Martin Construction.

Construction began on the airport's new super-taxiway in April.

Braun reported that two strips of concrete, 25 feet wide by 2,200 feet long, had been poured.

"We have two more to go," he said, "and some of the concrete work on the connectors down on the southeast end of the temporary runaway."

The pour went well.

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"They did one pour in one day and followed it up the next day with the second pour, and the two taxiway connectors," Braun said.

When completed, the temporary runway will be 100 feet wide.

Work will also start soon on construction of a taxi lane in front of the airport's Sanford AirMed hangar. Dirt work is expected to be underway in the next week or two.

"Weather pushes the super taxiway back and delays that taxi lane, as well," Braun said. "But they're just as anxious to get over there and get working on that as we are. There really hasn't been a whole lot of movement other than that on the taxi lane."

A new runway is needed.

The new 100-seat aircrafts, replacing the 50-seat regional jets, are larger, and the airport's runways do not meet the requirements to be able to handle those aircraft.

"The width, the length, and especially the load-bearing capacity, or the thickness of the runway, those are things that need to be upgraded," Braun told The Dickinson Press.

Runway safety areas, or RSAs, also currently don't meet FAA requirements, especially on approach of runway 3-2. RSAs must be 1,000 feet long by 600 feet wide.

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The temporary taxiway should be completed late fall 2020.

Reconstruction of the airport's main runway will begin in Spring 2021.

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