Rochester runway project gets federal boost

Grant will allow work to start in spring, but project still needs state funds.

RST file
Planes on the runway at Rochester International Airport. (Post Bulletin file photo)

A $9.2 million federal grant will help Rochester International Airport begin the first phase of planned runway safety improvements in the spring.

The runway safety improvements project is a multi-year, six-phase project to replace one of the facility's two runways, which has reached the end of its useful life, and to improve associated airfield pavement and equipment.

The total cost of the project is $79.2 million.

“We are extremely grateful for this federal grant to support critical airport infrastructure projects,” said John Reed, the airport’s executive director, adding that the work will result in new local jobs.

The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act allows the airport to use 100 percent of the federal grant to start the project, but future efforts are expected to require local and state funding matches.


The Minnesota House and Senate each created a plan in May to provide $11.4 million in state support for the airport project earlier this year. However, an effort to merge the two plans has stalled and remains uncertain at this point

“While we are excited to begin construction, it is important to remember the state bonding request of $11.4 million is still essential to completing this extensive runway project,” Reed said..

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