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Sea-Tac closing two runways this summer for repairs

Post by John Gillie / The News Tribune on May 8, 2012 at 11:22 am |
May 8, 2012 11:22 am

Passenger traffic will be unaffected this summer in spite of two runway closures scheduled at Sea-Tac Airport, the airport is telling its customers.

The airport will close two of its three runways for several weeks at a time, but not at the same time.

The airport plans to close its longest runway designated 16 Left – 34 Right from May 14 to June 20. That runway is the closest of the three to the airport terminal. The runway itself, completely reconstructed in 2009, won’t require repairs, but the adjacent taxiway will, said Perry Cooper, the airport’s spokesman.

During that closure to update the nearby taxiway B and to move some instrument landing system antennas, planes will use the runway itself as a taxiway to reach the terminals and the runway ends for takeoff.

From July 20 to August 8, the airport will close its center runway, 16 Center-34 Center, for replacement of 19 deteriorated concrete panels. The airport closed that center runway two years ago for several months to replace some 450 of the 4,000 concrete panels that make up the nearly two-mile-long strip. Since then, additional concrete panels in the 1969-vintage runway have deteriorated.

The cost of replacing those panels is expected to be about $662,000, the airport said.

The panel replacement program began in 1994. Some 650 panels have been replaced. The airport plans to shut down the center runway for a complete replacement in 2016 to demolish the current runway and rebuild it from scratch. This year’s repairs are expected to keep the runway in operating condition until then.

The opening of the airport’s third runway in 2008, has allowed the airport to take on long-delayed repair and replacement projects on the airport’s other two runways without disrupting traffic, said Cooper.

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