Two-month closure begins at Yampa Valley Regional Airport |

Two-month closure begins at Yampa Valley Regional Airport

— A $16.6 million construction project is underway at Yampa Valley Regional Airport.

The airport runway closed at 10 p.m. Tuesday and is not expected to reopen until 7 a.m. June 15.

YVRA Director Kevin Booth said they are shutting down the power to anything that could make the airport appear open. Big red Xs will light up the ends of the runways to alert pilots that the runway is closed.

The biggest project taking place at YVRA is a runway shoulder construction; a 25-foot shoulder is being built on each side of the runway.

Booth said the additional runway shoulder will make snow removal operations more efficient. It will also keep birds farther from the runway.

The Federal Aviation Administration is paying for $13.2 million of the project. The Colorado Department of Transportation is pitching in $1.9 million, and Routt County is paying $1.9 million.

In addition to the runway shoulder, the runway surface is being replaced. The top of the runway is to be milled, after which a new layer of asphalt will be laid and then grooved for traction.

New runway lighting will also be installed. The lighting will sit more flush to the runway, so there will be less chance of damage from snow plows. Some of the new lights will have LED bulbs, and there is the potential for some energy savings.

“We’re transferring to LED wherever it makes sense,” Booth said. “We’re taking a look at everything we have at the airport.”

The last major project at the airport will be changes to taxiway connectors.

Booth expects all the work will be completed on time, and work can be done at night and over weekends if necessary.

“They’re definitely building in the ability to stay on schedule,” Booth said.

United Co., a paving company out of Grand Junction, has been chosen to do the work. Jviation, out of Denver, is overseeing the design work and construction management.

At the peak of construction, Booth said upwards of 80 people will be working on the project.

While the runway will be closed for the next two months, the terminal will remain open. Employees will be doing maintenance projects like sealing the parking lot and repainting the parking spots for commercial airliners.

After construction is complete, Booth said they plan to host an open house for anyone interested in learning about YVRA.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland

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