Major Runway Construction Project Underway at Joint Base in Alaska

June 5, 2023

Jun. 1—Work is progressing at an Alaska military base on a $309 million construction project, one of the largest ever undertaken by Pacific Air Forces, an Air Force spokeswoman said Thursday.

A contractor is extending one of two runways at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson by 2,900 feet, which will give the base two 10,000-foot runways, according to the Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center.

Since starting work more than six months ago, Kiewit Corp. of Omaha, Neb., has moved more than 5 million cubic yards of dirt on the site, of 12 million cubic yards required for the job, base spokeswoman 1st Lt. Alexandra Smith told Stars and Stripes by email Wednesday. The project is due for completion in September 2025.

The extended north-south runway will replace the east-west runway as the main arrival runway, Henry Wong, an Air Force design and construction project manager, said in an August news release.

"The north-south runway is only 7,500 feet long by 150 feet wide and risk of accidents increases for heavy aircraft due to its short length and steep climb," he said.

The approach to the east-west runway passes through crowded Anchorage air space and accounts for safety concerns, taxiway delays and jet noise over local neighborhoods, Wong said.

"This project reflects the importance of expanding our capacity and capabilities to project power into the Pacific Theater," Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy said in an Air Force news release in October. "It's going to improve safety for military aircraft, their crews and passengers, and reduce flight noise for neighbors."

The project will also add two supporting taxiways and new shoulders, grading, drainage and lighting.

The runway "mega-project" is the largest Pacific Air Forces construction project awarded to date, Col. Damon Delarosa, commander of the Army Corps of Engineers Alaska District, said in an October news release.

Kiewit, a privately held corporation, reported $13.7 billion in revenue in 2022, according to their corporate website

The company is one of the largest defense contractors in the United States. In addition to the Air Force job in Alaska, in 2022 it also contracted with the Navy to rebuild shipyards and renovate and rebuild military medical facilities and with the Army to improve Wheeler Army Airfield in Honolulu.

Elmendorf- Richardson is home to squadrons of F-22 Raptor stealth fighters and C-17 Globemaster III airlifters; they share the base with E-3 Sentry airborne early warning and control aircraft and HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopters.


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