Public invited to open house at St. George Regional Airport on eve of reopening

ST. GEORGE — On the eve of the reopening of the St. George Regional Airport after four months of runway reconstruction, the public is invited to an open house to see the finished product.

Test of the rebuilt runway’s lights at the St. George Regional Airport, St. George, Utah, Sept. 18, 2019 | Photo courtesy of the city of St. George, St. George News

The open house will be held at the airport’s terminal Wednesday from 2-4 p.m. Guests will be offered bus tours of the newly finished runway, and Airport Manager Richard Stehmeier will be on hand to answer questions, along with other airport personnel. Parking at the airport will be free for the event.

The airport will officially reopen Thursday, with the first flight taking off at 7:05 a.m. for Dallas-Fort Worth, a new destination announced prior to the airport’s closure.

The airport was closed May 29 in order to address longstanding issues facing the runway due to expansive blue clay underneath it. Over the years, moisture that seeped underground and reached the clay caused it to expand, giving the runway an uneven and cracked surface.

To solve the problem, city and federal officials determined it would be necessity to tear up and rebuild the runway with fill material and a better drainage system.

St. George-based JP Excavation was contracted to excavate and rebuild 5,400 feet of the runway. Crews dug down 17 feet to remove the blue clay and other expansive materials.

Crews work to place the final lift of suitable fill material over a dark clay plug at the St. George Regional Airport, St. George, Utah, July 2019 | File photo courtesy of the city of St. George, St. George News

The runway was redesigned with oversight from the Federal Aviation Administration, the city of St. George and geotechnical engineers specializing in runway construction.

The $26 million project was primarily funded by the FAA, with the city of St. George picking up 10% of the cost. The city’s portion was covered by a passenger fee fund.

The St. George Regional Airport opened in January 2011 and replaced the city’s municipal airport that sat atop the Black Hill mesa.

Airline service out of St. George has since expanded to include multiple destination connections through SkyWest Airlines via American Airlines, Delta Airlines and United Airlines.

Major destinations offered through the airport in addition to Dallas-Fort Worth include Salt Lake City, Denver, Los Angeles and Phoenix.

Event details

  • What: St. George Regional Airport Runaway Project open house.
  • When: Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2-4 p.m.
  • Where: St. George Regional Airport terminal, 4550 S. Airport Parkway, St. George.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!