Earthquake-damaged Northway Airport reopens

Posted: Tuesday, November 26, 2002

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Northway Airport is back in business following temporary repairs to damage caused by the Nov. 3 earthquake.

The airport reopened Monday morning, three weeks after the magnitude 7.9 earthquake left the runway with crevices across its surface, an 8-inch drop along its center line and several heaves.

The airport is a customs link for light aircraft traveling between Alaska and Canada, with about 700 landings a year. Planes were diverted to Tok while the airport was closed.

The Nov. 3 quake, centered about 100 miles from Northway, damaged more than half of the 5,100-foot runway.

Temporary repairs, which included turning the asphalt runway into a gravel strip, cost about $500,000, according to the state Department of Transportation.

A contractor removed the asphalt surface and had the material broken into small pieces. Those pieces were used as a base on which gravel was put down.

A permanent repair will be developed in conjunction with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

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