New runway at airport
 might be in use sooner

The runway at Grand Junction Regional Airport, seen from the air, is expected to be replaced in a project that will also include two new high-speed taxiways. The construction cost: $125 million.

Grand Junction Regional Airport might be able to land aircraft on a new runway sooner than planned, said a consultant unanimously selected Tuesday to negotiate further with the airport on the project.

Plans now call for the construction of two new high-speed taxiways roughly in the middle of the runway that would allow the airport to deal with more planes in any given time.

Holding off on construction of the high-speed taxiways could allow for the new runway to go into use more quickly, rather than wait for the entire project to be complete, said Ryan Hayes, project manager for Mead & Hunt, which was selected the top of three competitors for the job, which is estimated to cost up to $125 million.

Work on the high-speed taxiways could proceed while the new runway was in service, Hayes told the airport board in a special meeting at Grand Junction City Hall.

Mead & Hunt, Garver USA, and Kimley-Horn were ranked first, second and third respectively in the staff’s recommendations, which were adopted by the board.

If staff is unable to reach agreement with Mead & Hunt, which has worked regularly on projects at Grand Junction Regional Airport for several years now, staff would then negotiate with Garver, and so on.

Any of the three companies could handle the project, airport Executive Director Kip Turner told the board, noting he has worked successfully with all of them.

All three also are competitors to be selected the airport’s engineering firm of record and the board is to consider ranking them in a regular meeting on April 18. Mead & Hunt also is one of three design firms vying for an architectural contract for which a selection is to be made next week.

Plans for the runway now call for taxiways at the east and west ends, as well as for the high-speed taxiways in the middle that would connect to the existing runway, which would be converted into a taxiway to the terminal.

Mead & Hunt will likely open a Grand Junction office for the project, Hayes said.

The airport also can save some money by limiting spending on the existing runway, which now rates 90 on a scale of 100, Hayes told the board.

The phasing program, as well as other proposals by Mead & Hunt, all would require the approval of the Federal Aviation Administration, Hayes said.


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