Work is progressing on an Alaska military base on a $309 million construction project, one of the largest ever undertaken by the Pacific Air Forces, an Air Force spokeswoman said Thursday.
A contractor is widening 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 at the site, out of the 12 million cubic yards required for the job, the spokeswoman said. from the base, 1st Lt. Alexandra Smith. Stars and Stripes by email on Wednesday. Completion of the project is scheduled for September 2025.
The extended north-south runway will replace the east-west runway as the main arrival runway, Henry Wong, the Air Force’s design-build project manager, said in an August news release.
“The north-south runway is only 7,500 feet long by 150 feet wide, and the risk of accidents is increased for heavy aircraft due to its short length and steep climb,” he said.
The approach to the east-west runway passes through crowded Anchorage airspace and poses safety concerns, taxiway delays and aircraft noise in local neighborhoods, Wong said.
“This project reflects the importance of expanding our capability and capabilities to project power in the Pacific Theater,” Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy said in an October Air Force news release. “It will improve the safety of military aircraft, their crews and passengers, and reduce flight noise for neighbors.”
The project will also add two support taxiways and new shoulders, grading, drainage and lighting.
The runway “mega project” is the largest Pacific Air Force 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 private corporation, reported $13.7 billion in revenue in 2022, according to its corporate website.
The company is one of the largest defense contractors in the United States. In addition to the Air Force’s work 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 upgrade Wheeler Army Airfield in Honolulu.
Elmendorf-Richardson is home to squadrons of F-22 Raptor stealth fighters and C-17 Globemaster III transport planes; they share the base with E-3 Sentry airborne early warning and control aircraft and HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopters.