The Tri-Cities Airport is updating a taxiway but this time around, passengers won’t need to weave through a multimillion-dollar construction project.
The airport in Pasco recently launched a four-part, $10.5 million overhaul of its taxiway.
The path that the planes use to get to and from the runways is being moved and rebuilt to bring it in line with Federal Aviation Administration standards.
To accommodate the work, the airport closed runway 12-30, as well as general aviation runway 3R-21L.
It won’t affect travel for passengers, said airport officials.
“This realignment project ensures that the airport will meet federal standards and continue to operate safely and efficiently,” Buck Taft, airport manager, said in a news release.
That’s a far cry from the $42 million remodel and expansion of the passenger terminal, which wrapped up a year ago.
In later phases, additional taxiways will be rehabilitated and an apron where the planes park to unload and refuel will be extended. The project should be complete next fall.
J-U-B Engineers designed the improvements and is managing the project. Inland Asphalt Co. is the contractor.
A U.S. Department of Transportation grant paid 90 percent of the cost. The airport is covering the balance and no local tax dollars are being spent.
The Tri-Cities Airport is served by Delta, Alaska, United and Allegiant airlines with connections to eight major hubs.
The airport reported a record 376,481 boardings in 2017 despite losing its airline connection to Portland in late August. Alaska Air Group permanently dropped that flight, citing low demand.
The move came just two months after Alaska restored the flight following a hiatus because of a pilot shortage.
Airport officials said they have not been told of any plans to restart that service.