Over the next two summers, expansion and improvement work will take place at the Talkeetna State Airport.
Laura Paul, Construction Project Manager for the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, says that the contract for airport improvements was awarded to Ahtna Construction for just under $6.8 million. Plans for the improvements include taxi lanes, the transient aircraft apron, general aviation apron, and a pedestrian footpath.
Work on the project is scheduled to begin in mid-July, and will involve clearing trees, moving equipment, and putting in temporary access roads. Laura Paul says no disruption to air traffic is expected.
The project will also involve nearly 200,000 tons of gravel. Paul says that Ahtna Construction is still determining the source for the gravel. The exact placement of equipment, access routes, and traffic plans will be reviewed after a gravel pit has been selected. Laura Paul says the primary hauling route for the material will be Second Street, and that Beaver Road may be used as an alternate access route for later stages of the project, such as resurfacing the runways and taxiways.
Some Talkeetna residents have expressed concern over the heavy volume of traffic that the project will generate. Paul says the roads used will be assessed before hauling begins, and must be restored to their original condition after operations are complete.