Homer Airport to have multiple closures for repaving

the Homer Airport
The sign for the Homer Airport Terminal on Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2023. The airport will have multiple closures from April to October. (Jamie Diep/KBBI)

The Homer Airport will have nightly closures beginning next month for a repaving project from Quality Asphalt Paving and the Alaska Department of Transportation.

The airport’s closures begin in April and will run for six months. The airport will stay open during the day before closing every night at 8 p.m. for 12 hours. There will also be several multi-day closures, with the first happening from April 15 to the morning of April 21.

This closure has an impact on airlines like Smokey Bay Air, which flies people and supplies regularly to Seldovia, Nanwalek and Port Graham. Tom Soderholm is Smokey Bay’s director of sales and marketing. He said while the airline has canceled flights before due to weather, the upcoming closure will be one the longest times they’ve gone without offering flights.

“We’re just looking to make sure that we can do whatever can be done to support the communities that are used to having us support them,” he said. “But we’re coming up with some contingencies and we hope to be able to have that going.”

Two more closures will happen July 15-17 and Oct. 7-11. While they have scheduled dates, DOT assistant project engineer Sam Walton said it may change.

“Those dates are a little bit more of a moving target, just because they’re weather dependent,” she said. “If it rains for four days, and we’re trying to pave, then the dates that were given would be pushed by four days.”

The department initially planned on repaving the runway last year, but didn’t give airlines enough notice about the project. Instead they worked on the airport apron — the area where planes are parked.

The nearly $31.9 million is mainly funded by the Federal Aviation Administration, with roughly 10% of funds coming from the DOT. The DOT’s project engineer Jason Baxley said the repaving will run through the end of October.

“We anticipate being completed this year,” he said. “Depending on construction, most everybody knows, if we have some unforeseen conditions or something that pushes us in the next year, then there’ll be a minimal amount of work next year.”

During the project, people can call a construction hotline for updates at 866-440-0203. The department will also hold weekly meetings to provide additional information. Those meetings will happen on Thursday mornings at 8 a.m. People can call 907-268-6272 and enter meeting ID 490419 to listen to the meeting.

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