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Sea-Tac Airport closing middle runway for repairs for nearly a month

Post by John Gillie / The News Tribune on June 28, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
June 28, 2013 2:40 pm

Sea-Tac Airport will close one of its three runways from July 8 through Aug. 2 to replace deteriorating concrete panels to extend the runway’s life.

The airport says the closure of its middle runway won’t delay aircraft arrivals or departures.  The summertime closure is the third time in the last four years the airport has shut down that 44-year-old runway for panel replacement.  The airport needs to completely repave the runway, but by replacing broken panels, the Port of Seattle, the airport’s owner, can postpone the reconstruction until 2016.

The airport prolonged the reconstruction by replacing 144 concrete panels in 2010 and 19 panels last year.  This summer, 10 panels will be replaced.  The runway consists for some 4,000 panels.

The airport in recent years has been upgrading its runways, long overdue for repair and replacement.

When the airport opened its third or westernmost runway in 2008, that runway’s opening gave the airport the capacity to handle its flights when it closed its easternmost and longest runway in 2009 for complete reconstruction.

The FAA rates the two outside runways as being in “excellent” condition.  The middle runway, built in 1969 with a life expectancy of 20 years, is only in “fair condition.”

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