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Runway Reconstruction – Phase 2 Completed – Phase 3

Runway Reconstruction Overview

JAC’s runway is in need a full reconstruction. The last time the runway was fully reconstructed was in the 1970’s. The asphalt runway at JAC has been rehabbed four times since it was originally constructed in the late 1970’s and it is due for a total reconstruction in the spring of 2022 which will include a 78-day runway closure.

During the closure, construction partners and JAC are committed to guaranteeing that this project is completed efficiently, with minimal impacts, and adheres to the highest environmental standards we can achieve on such a project.

Runway Reconstruction Timeline

Phase 1Preliminary prep work,
paving of runway safety areas,
drainage installation and staging of construction materials
July 6 – October 15, 2021
Phase 2Runway closed for reconstructionApril 11 – June 27, 2022
Phase 3Runway Grooving and StripingJuly – September 2022

Runway Project Phasing Map

Runway Reconstruction Detail

JAC has nearly 50 years of use on its current runway and it has been rehabilitated 4 times since it was constructed in the late 70’s. 

In the spring of 2022, it will be necessary for the runway at JAC to be fully reconstructed. This will require a 78-day runway closure to enable construction crews to work 24/7, until the project is completed.

Runway reconstruction will be completed in 3 phases and project engineers have estimated JAC will be able to reuse 90-95% of the current material for the reconstruction. This helps to reduce the number of truck trips to/from the airport during all phases of the runway construction.

Phase I will include preliminary work for staging the entire runway project. Importing materials, installation of drainage, and the paving of the Runway Safety Area will all take place in Phase 1. This work will be completed in 100 calendar days beginning in June and ending in October of 2021.

Phase 2 is the project Phase that includes the 78-day runway closure and will take place from April 11th, 2022 through June 27, during  2022. There will be no flight operations at JAC or Jackson Hole Aviation during the 78-day closure. The National Forest Service Helitack Base will remain operational throughout the closure. 

During Phase 2, runway material will be excavated, and a new subbase will placed and paved. Taxiways’ A4 and A1 will also be reconstructed during this time as well as a portion of Taxiway A2. Crews will be working 24/7 during the 78-day closure to complete the project on schedule. Commercial air service to/from JAC will resume on June 28th, 2022.

Phase 3 begins in July of 2022 and will be completed by the end of August 2022. Phase 3 will take place during a 30-day period for runway grooving and striping. The runway will be open to aircraft during this time and all grooving and striping will take place at night. 

During the 78 days, our construction partners and we are committed to guaranteeing that this project is completed efficiently, with minimal impacts, and adheres to the highest environmental standards we can achieve on such a project.


No. The runway will not be altered or lengthened. This reconstruction is routine maintenance for a typical runway.

Runways have a lifespan of approximately 20-25 years. The runway at JAC has been resurfaced several times since the late 1970’s and is need of full reconstruction to meet safety standards required by the Federal Aviation Administration.

  • Schedule I, Phase 1 (Drainage, Southern Paved RSA, and Material Procurement)
    • 100 Calendar Days (Day/Night)
    • July 7, 2021 – July 16, 2021 (Nighttime work) – Painting & striping
    • July 14, 2021 – July 15, 2021 (Nighttime work) – Runway Safety Area pavement removal
    • August 2, 2021-September 15, 2021 (Nighttime work) – Pavement removal, pipe installation, subgrade prep, base course installation, and asphalt paving
  • Schedule I, Phase 2 (Runway 1/19 Reconstruct – Runway Closed)
    • 78 Calendar Days (24/7)
    • April 11, 2022 – June 27, 2022
    • $40k LD, $1MM Incentive
  • Schedule I, Phase 3 (Runway 1/19 Grooving and Striping)
    • 30 Calendar Days (Night)
    • July 2022 – August 2022

Knife River, was awarded the runway contract. Knife River is based out of Idaho falls, Idaho and has 15 locations across the U.S. Knife River, like the JAC, has a commitment to their employees, customers, safety and environmental compliance.

  • Yes, per FAA and JHAB requirements, a competitive bid process was conducted
  • 3 bids received: Knife River, HK Contractors, and Kiewit
  • Lowest Qualifying Bidder: Knife River Corporation @ $32.7MM for Schedule I and $47k for Schedule V (Non-Federal)
  • The Jackson Hole Airport Board awarded Schedule I & Schedule V (Non-Federal) to Knife River at the April 21, 2021 JHAB Meeting
  • Total costs (design, administration, construction, construction management) = $38.8M
  • Project anticipated to be funded using 100% federal funds through FAA AIP grants.
  • Final grant from FAA of approximately $10M is anticipated to be received in the next few months.
  • Design includes the reuse/recycle of 90-95% of the existing pavement section to be incorporated within the proposed pavement sections to minimize export/import of materials.
  • Onsite native soils will be screened/crushed to produce needed aggregate materials.
  • Both of the above items will reduce traffic, noise, and the overall environmental footprint of the project.
  • Project includes the installation of a surface capture system to capture storm runoff from the runway surface—this capture system is unique to the JAC Airport and was included in the project to continue to protect GTNP and the Snake River Aquifer that sits below the Airport.
  • The Project’s Contract Documents and Plans require the contractor to be considerate for the environment in which the Airport sits—this includes minimizing traffic and noise (especially at night) as best as possible.
    • However, this Project, simply due to its scale and limited construction duration, will produce noise and traffic (including at times during the nighttime hours).
  • JAC, Knife River, and the construction management team (Jviation) will work closely together to minimize impacts to the adjacent neighborhoods and will adjust accordingly.
  • The Project’s primary haul route will be via the highway (26/89/191) to Gro Ventre Junction then head west to Spring Gulch Road
  • The Project’s secondary haul route will be via the highway (26/89/191) to the east entrance of the airport. This route will only be used at limited times in mostly in the spring during the thaw cycle to protect Spring Gulch Road from damage.
    • The east entrance of the Airport presents several safety and logistical challenges in navigating through the tight airport entrance, the busy public parking areas, and finally—the controlled aircraft movement areas.
  • Work hours will vary depending on what phase of the project crews are working on. Daytime work can be expected from July 6, 2021 – September of 2021
  • Nighttime work can be expected July 6, 2021 – September 15, 2021
  • Nightwork will be performed during Phase 1 of the project, which is July 6, 2021 – September 15, 2021
  • Nighttime work is necessary for the curing of concrete to take place and for other work that cannot be completed during operational hours of the runway.
  • We have been contacted by a few local hotels interested in housing the construction workforce—we have passed along these contacts to Knife River.
  • Knife River will need to house anywhere from 25-150 people throughout the Project’s duration depending on the Schedule/Phase.
  • To further minimize traffic, we have requested that the Contractor carpool and/or bus workforce to/from Airport when possible.
  • Knife River has expressed interest in hiring local workforce when possible; however, the schedule will continue to be a priority.
  • This will include the possibility of hiring JAC Airport staff during the runway/airport closure period (Spring 2022).
  • This runway project alone will have a significant and positive impact on local businesses (estimated to be $5M+):
    • Hotels for lodging workforce
    • Restaurants for feeding workforce
    • Hardware, parts, and lumber
    • Equipment rental
    • Material suppliers—miscellaneous aggregates, concrete, asphalt, electrical products
    • Trucking operators
    • Sanitation services
    • Surveying and engineering services (Jviation and Nelson Engineering are both local firms)
  • The Airport Administration Office will remain open.
  • Some rental car companies may choose to operate during the closure. More information for those stakeholders will be provided as the construction dates approach.

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