The Dickinson Theodore Roosevelt Regional Airport has awarded contracts to Martin Construction and Strata Corporation for phases three and four of the temporary runway project.

Martin Construction was also the main contractor for phase II of the project. Airport Manager Kelly Braun is pleased with the commission's decision.

"Not only do we have a local contractor that’s building our new runway for us, we also have continuity with the contractor, so there’s no disruption between phases, so that’s outstanding … Those federal dollars and state dollars get to stay local," he said.

Edling Electric contracted for electric on phase II of the project.

The problem

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  • The 2014 oil boom created a drastic increase in the airport's enplanements, or the number of passengers boarding aircraft. The airport was designed to handle about 9,000 enplanements a year. At that time, it handled about 60,000 a year.
  • Mid-2015 saw a dramatic drop in the number of enplanements, but those numbers are rising again, and Braun estimates the airport will end the year with about 23,000 enplanements.
  • The newer aircraft are double the size of the aircraft for which the airport was designed, contributing to an accelerated deterioration of the main runway and other airport infrastructure.
  • The runway safety area does not meet current Federal Aviation Administration standards.

The solution

  • The airport will shift its main runway about 1,700 ft. and extend it by 900 ft. The new runway will be 7,300 ft. long and 150 ft. wide.
  • The weight bearing capacity will increase from 39,000 lbs. to 90,000 lbs.
  • The new runway will be designed to accommodate 100 seat aircraft.
  • The project will cost $64 million, $40 million of which will come from the FAA, $20 million from the state and $4 million from the city, county and airport.

The process

  • In 2013, the airport began its master plan process, which identified shortcomings at the facility and future trends in aviation.
  • In 2017, it completed an environmental assessment which found no significant impact on the environment.
  • In April 2019, after disputes with neighboring property owners, the airport acquired land for the project
  • In April 2019, phase II (construction on the temporary runway) began. About 1/3 of it was completed before the end of the construction season.
  • Spring 2020, phase II should be completed.
  • November 2020, phases III and IV should end in the completion of the temporary runway.
  • The temporary runway will serve as the main runway while the current runway is being reconstructed.
  • Spring 2021, construction on the main runway is projected to begin.
  • Spring 2023, construction on the main runway is projected to be completed.
  • Upon completion of the main runway, the temporary runway will become a full-length, parallel taxiway.