October 20, 2010 in Business

Fairchild runway to be replaced

Project will start in February, expected to finish in December
By The Spokesman-Review
Runway history

This is the third time in the history of Fairchild that the runway has been replaced or modified to the extent that planes had to be diverted, said Maj. Angela O’Connell, the base chief of public affairs. The first two times were in 1983 and 2001.

A California-based construction company will be in charge of a $43 million project to repave and raise Fairchild Air Force Base’s runway next year, the Defense Department said.

AECOM Technology, with head offices in Los Angeles, will hire 10 area subcontractors during a 10-month project to build a new runway and taxiways and install storm drains, a company spokesman said.

The work will start in February and is expected to conclude on Dec. 1.

Gary Merlino Construction, of Seattle, will lay the new concrete for the 13,889-foot long runway. That is Fairchild’s only runway, and will require aircraft to be relocated during the project.

Icon Materials, based in Tukwila, will perform demolition, earthworks excavation, grading and installation of storm drains. Icon’s construction manager Bruce Harjehausen said the company will hire 10 to 12 Spokane-area workers during the project.

The full runway will be raised roughly 12 inches to improve drainage, said Maj. Angela O’Connell, the base public affairs officer. It will also be narrowed from 200 feet to 150 feet, she added.

O’Connell said the 92nd Air Refueling Wing will move personnel and planes to Grant County Airport in Moses Lake in mid-January. She estimated the shift might involve about 200 airmen.

While that occurs, a number of KC-135 aircraft will likely be stationed temporarily at Spokane International Airport. Those planes will be used primarily for local training, she said.

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