Jefferson County Airport reopened after weeks of construction

Despite delays, runway resurfaces and updated

Posted 6/23/20

The Jefferson County International Airport is back in service as of Thursday evening after a seven-week project to reconstruct the runway that closed it to all fixed-wing air traffic.

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Jefferson County Airport reopened after weeks of construction

Despite delays, runway resurfaces and updated

Posted

The Jefferson County International Airport is back in service as of Thursday evening after a seven-week project to reconstruct the runway that closed it to all fixed-wing air traffic.

“On behalf of the Port’s JCIA tenants, the pilot community, and the community — we are thrilled that the JCIA is again fully open for public use,” Eric Toews, deputy director of the Port of Port Townsend, wrote in an email Friday.

Initially scheduled to end June 14 after six weeks of construction, the project included the demolition and reconstruction of the single east-west runway and relocation of the midfield taxiway. Grading, drainage, lighting, electrical, and signage modifications were also needed, according to the Port’s online overview.

Seattle-based Scarsella Brothers Inc. was contracted by the Port to resurface the runway, which was initially projected to be a roughly $3 million project, mainly funded through grants from the Federal Aviation Administration.

Crews began working May 4, but ran into complications when a geotechnical analysis found that the subgrade and subbase under the runway did not meet FAA requirements. This delayed the project, as did the rainy days that prevented paving on schedule.

The opening date was moved to June 23, but a status update the day before revealed that the Port’s airport engineer found areas of pavement that did not meet specifications in terms of “cracking, rutting and depressions,” extending the closure until June 26 at midnight.

The airport ended up opening about 28 hours ahead of that schedule, with temporary remedies for the pavement issues that will be resolved fully with “permanent corrective measures” in September, Toews wrote.

Port Commissioner Pete Hanke was the first pilot to land on the new runway just as it opened Thursday night, returning from the nearby Diamond Point airport.

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