Runway makeover

MINOT AIR FORCE BASE Work is winding down on the reconstruction of the Minot Air Force Base runway, base officials said.

Sundt Construction Inc., an Arizona firm, was awarded the more than $32 million contract for the runway repairs and improvement to the center section of the runway. This is the last section of the three-phase runway project to be completed. Work on the east and west ends were finished in the previous two years.

On April 1 the runway was closed down to aircraft. Several B-52s are temporarily operating out of Ellsworth AFB at Rapid City, S.D., and others are on a deployment at Andersen AFB in Guam. Some B-52s and aircrews have remained at Minot AFB in a ready status in case they are needed.

Minot AFB’s runway was built in 1957 and originally intended for only a 30-year service life.

The reconstruction project was one of the top infrastructure projects in the Air Force following a study done in 2011 in which the Air Force Civil Engineering Support Agency ranked Minot AFB’s runway as the worst in the Air Force out of 21 installations, with the runway’s quality being rated as “poor,” according to Minot AFB Public Affairs information.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony is being planned for the end of the month, base officials said.

All the planes that were in Guam and at Ellsworth for past months will be returning shortly after the construction is finished.