Needed upgrades to the runways at Eagle River Union Airport soon will mean changes for pilots using the facility until the work is done.
Airport Manager Robert Hom says the work will improve the runway....
"Our main runway...0422 is 5,000 feet long. It's our jet runway. It was last paved, any work done on it in the mid-70's. It's at the end of it's life cycle. So we're going to be repaving it and improving it's weight-bearing capacity....."
Hom says they get a large amount of jet traffic and those planes need a minimum of 5,000 feet...
"...so that means for the City of Eagle River the jet accessibility will be diminished while we are under construction. Aircraft are going to have to go to either Rhinelander or Lakeland Union airport or Iron Mountain to access the area by jet....."
The airport was designed in the late 1960's and Hom said they didn't plan to have the larger airplanes that are used today. Hom says the 3,400 foot crosswind runway can support turbo prop and piston aircraft during construction. He says the Maxair shuttle will still be operating four days a week until the middle of August when construction will affect the intersection of the two runways.
During that time, the airport will be shut down for about 4 weeks. The runways are expected to reopen the week of September 11 barring any weather-related interruptions.