Allie Colosky
The Bulletin

Construction on the secondary runway at Redmond Airport will begin soon, but Central Oregon travelers won’t experience any delays in their travel plans.

Because of work done during reconstruction of the primary runway in 2016, specifically where both runways intersect, officials will not have to close the airport, said Zachary Bass, airport director, in a press release. “We are focused on improving our infrastructure with minimal disruption to the 800,000 air passengers we serve annually, U.S. Forest Service operations, hangar tenants and local businesses that call (us) home,” he said.

Construction is scheduled to begin Feb. 26 and finish in October.

Previous reconstruction of the primary runway closed the entire airport for 21 days in 2016, during which crews worked on the main cross-section of the two runways.

“It was some pretty smart thinking back then to get part of this completed while the airport was closed,” said Fred LeLacheur, airport engineer. “We have some new criteria to follow and these are mostly just updates to FAA requirements in the last 20 years.”

The $10 million project is part of a larger airport master plan that has staff focused on how to accommodate growth in the next 20 years.

The main points of reconstruction involve smoothing out the sharp angles of the taxiways at the end of the runway and paving the runway with a crown-style top that will allow drainage off both sides of the runway. The current design of the runway only slopes in one direction, LeLacheur said.

Other updates include laying new electrical cables for updated path indicators that serve as navigation aides for pilots.

The life for most asphalt pavement is about 20 years, placing the reconstruction of the secondary right on time, LeLacheur said.

“The runway has held up very well for the many years it’s been there,” he said. “The requirements are pretty stringent and that really helps to get long life out of the project.”

— Reporter: 541-617-7829,