Arnold Palmer Regional Airport is receiving additional funding for a planned runway widening project, as the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) announced last week that the airport was awarded a $1.5 million Airport Improvement Program grant.

The Unity Township facility was one of three Pennsylvania airports to be awarded a total of $13.5 million in airport infrastructure grants. The funds are part of $485 million in grants given to 108 airports in 48 states and the U.S. Territories of Guam and Virgin Islands.

In September, Arnold Palmer Regional Airport was awarded $11.1 million in federal grant funding for the project.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will pay the bulk of the project, with the Westmoreland County Airport Authority and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) Bureau of Aviation each providing a 5% match. The authority’s amount will come from passenger facility charges, Westmoreland County Airport Authority executive director Gabe Monzo said previously.

Earlier this year, the airport authority awarded an $11.9 million contract to Golden Triangle Construction for work related to the long-discussed project.

The two-phase project will widen the runway from 100 feet to 150 feet, which officials said will help pilots land during inclement weather events and enable the airport to avoid diverting flights to other facilities. Removing snow from behind the runway lights will be aided with new 20-foot shoulders.

Work is expected to stretch into 2020, officials said.

Monzo said previously that the current construction schedule for the project is “tentative.”

In June, authority engineer Scott Kunselman of GAI Consultants said runway work would shut down airport traffic for two 15-day phases; one estimated schedule included possible closures in July 2020 and September 2020.

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