October 26, 2022 By Sandi Krasowski, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Chronicle-Journal
THUNDER BAY, ONT. — Work on the Thunder Bay International Airport’s primary runway was completed two weeks ahead of schedule it reopened Oct 15.
The runway was shut down in May to accommodate the rehabilitation during the summer of all surfaces, storm sewers and lighting.
Ed Schmidtke, airport president and chief executive officer, was pleased with the $22-million project and said the work came in on budget with some funding from the Ministry of Transportation.
“Most of the work is sub-surface and is invisible to the traveller,” he said.
“We replaced 60-year-old sub-surface drainage pipes that had corroded over more than half a century of use. We did significant sub-surface repairs and crack sealing and of course, there is the new pavement and new LED lighting down the length of the runway.”
The lighting will make the runway brighter and more energy efficient.
“These updates will make the runway more available in certain types of conditions and because of all that deep sub-surface work, for decades to come,” Schmidtke added.
Key contractors on the job included the engineering firm Avia NG, Pioneer Construction and Nadin Contracting.
The runway opening means the rapid return of jet service to the community with Air Canada re-introducing its Airbus service beginning on Oct. 19. Flair Airlines will resume jet service on Nov. 1 and Sunwing will return with winter charters to Cuba and Cancun, Mexico in December.