Augusta Regional Airport runway to close for upgrade

Augusta Regional Airport's main runway will be closed for 97 days for construction beginning Monday.

Air traffic will be diverted to the airport's secondary east-west runway. Airport neighbors will notice changes in flight patterns and an increase in east-west flight traffic, airport officials said.

"We very much regret any inconvenience to our neighbors during this construction project; however, the project is critical to the safe operation of the airport," said Augusta Regional Executive Director Gary LeTellier.

The $14 million project will resurface the main runway and improve lighting and signs, said Diane Johnston, the airport marketing director.

The Federal Aviation Administration will fund 95 percent of the project, and Georgia's Department of Transportation and the airport will share the remaining cost.

"The runway, just like any other paved surface, needs to be redone periodically," Johnston said.

The asphalt will be replaced with concrete, which costs about the same, bears loads better and lasts longer.

Upgrades to the airport's secondary runway also have been performed, so it can be used by commercial aircraft during the main runway's resurfacing.

The public might notice more airplanes during takeoff and landing during the resurfacing, because more residential areas lie along the airport's east-west axis, Johnston said.