The Durango-La Plata Airport has been awarded $6.8 million to help pay for a complete reconstruction of its 9,200-foot taxiway.
Director of Aviation Tony Vicari said the total cost of the project is about $7.4 million. The remainder of the bill will be paid for by the airport through fees it collects for services and by the Colorado Division of Aeronautics.
The money is part of the Federal Aviation Administration’s Airport Improvement Program, which awards annual grants to airports across the country for infrastructure improvements.
The taxiway is the oldest asphalt at the airport, more than 30 years old, and the project to rebuild it has been done in phases. The last remaining phase of the rebuild will begin in July and is expected to last 90 days and should not affect flight operations, Vicari said.
The rebuild will replace about 1,700 feet of the middle section of the taxiway, Vicari said.
The rebuild is a full-depth reconstruction, not just a resurfacing, and is designed to handle the load of commercial airline jets.
Planes will have to taxi around the work area, Vicari said.
“These federal dollars are the catalyst that allow us to make investments in the airfield to ensure long-term operations,” he said.
Another remodel project, this one a rebuild of the airline ticket operations area, also continues, Vicari said.
Currently, remodeling work is underway on the baggage area at the terminal, and in mid-July remodel work is expected to begin to the airlines’ ticketing space, Vicari said.
On Saturday, the airport plans to celebrate the beginning of seasonal service to Chicago, Houston and Los Angeles. The airport will hold festivities Saturday that will include giveways and water arches supplied by fire engines for the first-arriving flights.
American Airlines will fly to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport from Saturday to Aug. 17. American will also fly on Saturdays to Los Angeles International Airport from Saturday to Aug. 31.
United Airlines will fly to George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston from Saturday to Oct. 26. It will also fly to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport from Saturday to Oct. 26.