Construction at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport this summer is expected to create 1,100 jobs and bring in over $100 million in construction investment.

The airport is soliciting for bids on three airfield construction projects that will improve access, safety, and pavement surfaces on its three runways and several taxiways.

"It's an opportunity for us to essentially put an investment in the airport," Airport Manager Jim Szczesniak said. "It's an exciting way to give Alaska a shot in the arm in the economy. Also we are investing in the infrastructure here in the fact that we are upgrading one of the runways so that it can better handled the larger aircraft that we use for cargo."

In 2017, the airport accommodated nearly 200,000 aircraft operations, over 5.4 million passengers, and 3 million tons of cargo. It is the aviation hub of Alaska and a critical link in the world’s cargo supply chain -- one that needs some touch-up work.

"It's a little bit of wear and tear on the runways," Szczesniak said. "This runway was due for its rehab. We're also going to spend the money to expand the runway to better accommodate the larger cargo planes. The fact is, we are seeing a lot more of them. UPS just bought a bunch of [Boeing 747-8 freighter jets], so large cargo airplanes are here to stay."

Szczesniak says the airport's terminal's are first-class, along with the airport's infrastructure, and investing in the runway work is a must. Construction will not hamper travelers as the work will only be on the runways and taxiways.

"Nothing will impact the passenger experience," Szczesniak said. "Some surrounding neighborhoods may notice a change, with some larger planes flying in and out as we redirect them during construction."

One of the construction bids is already up for bidding with the other two set to hit the streets shortly. Construction will start around May 15. The taxiways are expected to be finished by the fall, with the cargo runway being done in two phases and completed in the summer of 2019.

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