Runway at county airport to reopen Thursday

EVERETT — The Snohomish County Airport, better known as Paine Field, plans a formal reopening for its general aviation runway Thursday now that major upgrades are complete.

A ribbon-cutting is scheduled from 11 a.m to 1 p.m. near Paine Field’s east ramp.

The runway, formally known as 16L-34R, has been closed since late May for paving and safety improvements. Changes include LED lighting, better signs and a more convenient exit taxiway for pilots.

“These upgrades will help improve pilot experience at the airport and allow the runway to continue safely serving air traffic well into the future,” airport Director Dave Waggoner said.

Runway 16L-34R serves half the flight traffic at Paine Field. It was built in the 1980s to avoid intersecting traffic on the airport’s main runway and to take advantage of prevailing winds.

A $5.3 million federal grant paid for most of the recent upgrades. IMCO General Construction of Bellingham completed the paving and runway upgrades. Reid Middleton Inc. of Everett engineered the work.

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