The Federal Aviation Administration Airport Improvement grant covers 90 percent of the cost to upgrade runway 16L-34R, built 25 years ago.
The project is intended to bring the runway up to FAA standards.
The runway is 3,000 feet long and used by the more than 650 general aviation aircraft based at the county-run airport.
The actual construction is slated to take place during the summer of 2013. Reid Middleton Inc. of Everett is the engineering consultant for the project. The county awarded IMCO General Construction of Ferndale the construction contract.
The work includes replacing part of the perimeter road around the runway.
The county has received nearly $100 million in FAA grants for Paine Field during the past 50 years.
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