A new sand, chemical and fueling building under construction at the Juneau International Airport on Monday, April 29, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

A new sand, chemical and fueling building under construction at the Juneau International Airport on Monday, April 29, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Airport’s projects are taking off

Multiple projects are underway

A new building at Juneau International Airport is the result of an old project.

The skeleton of a sand and chemical storage building and fueling station is in place and the $10 million building could be completed by the end of this year, said airport manager Patty Wahto.

“That actually started last fall, and that is the sand, chemical and fueling station that we got special funding for at the end of last summer,” Wahto said. “On the runway, we use sand and chemicals for deicing and right now they sit in an open shed-style building. We’re in need of a building that will help keep it dry.”

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The sand and chemical building will be about 21,700 square feet, and the fueling station will be a canopy structure similar to a gas station.

“This is a critical piece of infrastructure for the airport’s winter operations,” said airport architect Catherine Fritz.

She said 93.75 percent of the project will come from special federal funding secured last year, and the building is part of the same project that resulted in the snow removal equipment building that opened last spring. The remaining 6.25 percent — about $625,000 — will come from local funding. Local sources include passenger facility charges, 2012 obligation bond funds and local sales tax depending on the project.

“Once it’s done, we’ll be able to relocate all of our sand and chemicals and eventually bring the old building down,” Wahto said.

It’s not the only ongoing project folks can expect at the airport this year.

Wahto said people may have already seen the batch plant — equipment that combines ingredients to form concrete — that will help with asphalt work that has an anticipated end of July completion date.

The work will happen at the parts of the airport, on both the east and west ends, used for aircraft circulation, parking and tie downs.

The asphalt work is expected to cost about $9 million and be eligible for federal funding at the 93.75 percent level. That would leave about $562,50o to come from local funds.

A rebuild of the airport’s north terminal and a taxiway rehabilitation could both start to make some progress later in the summer, too.

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“What we’re looking at for the terminal is we’re looking at a $22 million project,” Wahto said.

About 70 percent of the project will be eligible for federal participation at the 93.5 percent level, and other revenue sources for the project include passenger fees and funding from a 2012 general obligation bond.

Wahto said bond interest and efforts to increase eligibility for federal money makes it difficult to pin point exactly how funding for the project breaks down, but from federal sources about $6 million would come from local sources.

“We’re putting together the details of a financing plan on that right now,” Fritz said.

Work is expected to start soon.

“You’ll see some kind of mini phases as we get into the pre-construction,” Wahto said. “We’re hoping to go out to bid late summer thereabouts, and hopefully start some demolition. We’re looking at October November time frame.”


• Contact reporter Ben Hohenstatt at (907)523-2243 or bhohenstatt@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @BenHohenstatt.


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