Ready for take-off

Lake Elmo Airport runway repair nears completion

By ERIK SANDIN – Stillwater Gazette

BAYTOWN TOWNSHIP – Lake Elmo Airport should re-open to general aviation air traffic late this week after crews complete $500,000 of repaving work on the airport’s main runway, according to a Metropolitan Airports Commission project manager.

Runway 1432 at the airport has been closed since Monday so crews could mill and resurface the center section of the runway, said Pat Mosites, MAC airport development officer. The runway is expected to re-open to aircraft Friday, Mosites added.

The decision to mill and repave the center of airport’s runway 1432 came after a series of temporary patches failed, Mosites said.

"We’ve done some patching on the runway and it just hasn’t worked out," he said.

Mosites said the $500,000 budget for the project includes consultant fees and the actual repaving and striping work should cost less than the original budget.

"It was part of our capital improvement program," he said.

Mosites said crews were scheduled to start milling the old asphalt off the runway last Wednesday, but the asphalt planer broke down.

"It took one day once they got the planer to work," he said. "They had a long day (last) Thursday."

After milling and cleaning the runway, crews have spent the first part of this week putting down new asphalt, Mosites said.

"Today (Wednesday) they’re paving. The next two days they’ll be striping," he said. "Friday we’ll be putting down new markings."

Along with the stiping work, Mosites said crews will ‘fog seal" the runway to make sure the new center section blends in with the existing asphalt on either side.

Although the runway closing has been an inconvenience to pilots using Lake Elmo Airport, Mosites said the fliers supported the project.

"They’re welcoming it," he said.