February 28, 2020
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P.I. airport to start upgrade this summer

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — The Northern Maine Regional Airport will tap into funds being distributed under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to improve its infrastructure this summer.

The U.S. Department of Transportation will award $2.5 million to the Presque Isle airport to help extend its taxiway, U.S. Sens. Olympia J. Snowe and Susan Collins recently announced in a press release.

Scott Wardwell, the airport’s director, said Wednesday that the money would help lengthen the main runway.

“Right now, we only have a partial taxiway, so this is going to help extend it by about 1,900 feet,” he explained.

The airport features the second-longest commercial runway in Maine, measuring 7,440 feet, and a second runway at 5,994 feet, according to its Web site.

Wardwell said Wednesday he anticipates construction work will begin in late June and should be completed by October.

“By strengthening and improving the airport’s infrastructure, this funding will not only spur economic growth in Aroostook County but ensure the continuation of quality commercial air service for travelers to Maine,” Snowe said in the release.

“I grew up in Aroostook County,” Collins said, “and I know first-hand just how critical the Northern Maine Regional Airport is to the people of Presque Isle and all of the surrounding communities. It is essential that we enhance and maintain the infrastructure. This construction project will help create good jobs in Aroostook County at a time when they are needed most.”

The senators said about 3,400 airports designated as part of the national airport system are eligible to receive stimulus funds.

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