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NEWS | May 12, 2023

Alpena County Regional Airport to receive more than $50 million to repair runway

By Capt. Cammy Alberts Michigan National Guard Public Affairs

The National Guard and Alpena County are investing more than $50 million in runway repairs and upgrades at the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center and the Alpena County Regional Airport. The work will extend the life of the runway for 25 years, ensuring continued civilian and military use of the facility.

The Michigan Air National Guard obtained approximately $40 million dollars in funding from the National Guard Bureau (NGB) to support the work, with Alpena County contributed $12.5 million.

The airport is shared space with both the county and the CRTC.

“Construction will begin this week on the Alpena County Runway. More than $50million is being dedicated to this project which is the result of an incredible 2-year planning effort by the Alpena CRTC, the County, the FAA, and the Air National Guard Readiness Center,” said Col. James Rossi, Alpena CRTC commander. “This effort normally takes 5-10 years to accomplish, but given the urgency of the needed repairs, all entities joined forces to make this happen.”

The runway repair will be done in a three-part series, allowing the County Regional Airport to remain operational for most the repair work. A portion of the main runway will be renovated, while other portions will be completely repaired. The result will be a completely new piece of pavement that will serve customers of the CRTC and the Alpena County Airport for decades.

“The project will consist of three phases: a county repair phase, followed by two NGB-funded phases,” said Maj. Anthony Hylko, Alpena CRTC Base Civil Engineer. “We are working this project in such a way as to minimize the impact on air travel to and from the county airport.”

This first phase of repairs, on the interior runway, will take place this spring. Simultaneously, the federally funded repairs will also begin at the same time on the runway’s north end. Repairs on the south end will commence in the spring of 2024. The repairs are expected to conclude in the fall of 2024.

The runway repair project will rely heavily on local contractors from the northern Michigan region for the award contracts. Pyramid Paving, from Bay City, Mich., and M&M Excavating, from Gaylord, Mich., as well as a number of Alpena-based subcontractors are being utilized for the project.

“This is a huge win for the community of Alpena. Between the Air Force and the County of Alpena, we are investing more than $50 million in repairs to the runway and extending the life of the airfield for at least 25 years,” said Hylko.

The Alpena CRTC is one of four unique military readiness installations located across the country. Every year, thousands of military personnel from all branches of the military travel to Alpena to conduct training at the facility. Alpena CRTC is a part of the National All Domain Warfighting Center, which includes the Camp Grayling Joint Maneuver Training Center and other Michigan-based assets to provide military training options on land, in the air and in cyberspace.