Grand Junction Regional Airport preapproved for $20 million grant towards runway replacement

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo (KREX) – The runway at Grand Junction Regional Airport is being replaced for the first time since being built in the 1950’s. The airport’s fiscal year ends in September, creating a time crunch to get extra money to fund the new runway’s first three phases, making the preapproval of $20 million even more important.

“Any grant funding we receive will be for 100% of the project,’ Grand Junction Regional Airport Executive Director Angela Padalecki mentions, “This is truly free money to the airport to the community to put towards this huge project we’re working on.”

When the project first broke ground three years ago, the estimated cost ranged between 150 and $200 million. Despite the pandemic and the delays it’s caused in construction projects, GJT’s replacement project remains on schedule.

Even with this new grant funding, the real work is just beginning.

“We really need to shave hills and fill on embankment and really start working on that base for the future runway,” Padalecki continues, “So, we are really excited and grateful to our partners at the county for approving this so that we can hopefully capture some end of year grant money.”

The new runway will be north of the current runway to keep flights going in and out. The Grand Junction Regional Airport is hopeful to start paving by 2028 with a runway opening sure after.

3 million cubic yards of dirt will be moved over the next year to break even more ground on the airport’s new runway, which GJT and the Federal Aviation Administration prefer over the entire airport closed for a year.

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