Juneau International Airport is getting nearly $10 million in federal transportation grant money to replace a sand and chemical storage building. The work is expected to address “serious life safety hazards” that local airport and state officials have flagged in the existing facility. It was built in 1966 as a hangar and later repurposed.
Federal Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao announced $205 million in grants on Thursday.
“Most importantly, these improvements will not only expand airport capacity, but improve safety, as well,” Chao said. “Which as you all know, is my number one priority.”
Chao also touted the grants’ economic impact.
According to the airport’s grant application, the money will also replace an obsolete fueling facility.
John MacKinnon is the executive director of the Associated General Contractors of Alaska. He couldn’t estimate specific economic impacts.
“But there’s certainly going to be quite a few jobs created for it,” MacKinnon said. “A lot of building materials are coming from outside, but there’s concrete and a lot of dirt work associated with it and other things. So, you know, anytime you’ve got a $10 million project in a community the size of Juneau, it’s a big help.”
Local Airport Manager Patty Wahto and architect Catherine Fritz were in Washington D.C. for the announcement.
Juneau’s airport is one of 37 small airports around the country receiving these supplemental airport infrastructure grants. No other Alaska airports were in the mix today.