Sacramento International Airport runway reopens after six-month closure for renovation

Sacramento International Airport’s west runway, which has been closed for six months undergoing renovations, reopened Wednesday with brand-new concrete.

The old asphalt runway — which dates to the airport’s inception in 1967 — was closed in April for structural improvements.

“We are thrilled to have the west runway operational again,” Sacramento County Airports Director Cindy Nichol said in a statement. “The project was executed on time and with its completion it will allow us to continue to serve our customers with maximum efficiency.”

The closure of the west runway meant the airport only had the use of its east runway, which itself had to be closed in five-hour increments twice a month on Sunday mornings for maintenance, resulting in some diversions for late-arriving flights.

Sacramento County spokeswoman Laurie Slothower told The Sacramento Bee in June that concrete is more durable than asphalt and retains less water, which means there should be fewer potholes, and could allow for heavier planes on the new runway.

In a news release, county airport officials said 50,000 cubic yards of asphalt was removed from the west runway and replaced with 106,000 cubic yards of concrete pavement.

Renovations included an additional 22,000 feet of storm drain pipe, 130,000 feet of new electrical cables and 450 new runway lights, according to the release.

The Federal Aviation Administration awarded a $27.4 million infrastructure grant to the airport earlier this year, providing partial funding for the $46.3 million renovation project.

Now that the west runway is open again, normal operations should resume at the airport.

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Vincent Moleski covers business and breaking news for The Bee and is a graduate student in literature at Sacramento State. He was born and raised in Sacramento and previously wrote for the university’s student newspaper, the State Hornet.