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Construction starts on new Duluth airport terminal

With the much-anticipated groundbreaking of the new terminal project at Duluth International Airport on Tuesday, Sept. 1, construction of a new gateway to Duluth and the rest of Northeastern Minnesota officially got under way.

With the much-anticipated groundbreaking of the new terminal project at Duluth International Airport on Tuesday, Sept. 1, construction of a new gateway to Duluth and the rest of Northeastern Minnesota officially got under way.

Congressman Jim Oberstar along with state and local officials and other community leaders attended the ceremony, formally beginning the first phase of the project. Phase 1, valued at $10.2 million, focuses on site grading, infrastructure, utilities, a new access roadway, service roads, parking areas and completing the terminal building design.

"This new terminal project will give our area an economic boost, both in the short term with the 200-plus construction jobs that it creates and also in the long term by supporting our strong aviation sector and other businesses that sustain our community," said Duluth Airport Authority Chair Nancy Norr. "Six years in the making, it has taken the support and efforts of several groups, agencies, business leaders and our elected officials at the local, state and national levels. We thank them for all they've done, and we realize their hard work is impacting our region not only today, but that this impact will continue for decades to come."

Ryks echoed Norr's gratitude and asked lawmakers for their ongoing support. "We will need about $11.7 million more in state bonding dollars in 2010 for Phase 2 of this project, which focuses on constructing the new terminal building," said Ryks. "A new terminal will help us accommodate more carriers, which makes us more competitive and attractive to more travelers. It's a wonderful cycle, and we need to maintain this incredible momentum."

In addition to the state bonding dollars needed in 2010, Federal Airport Improvement Program dollars, Duluth Airport Authority funding and State Airports Trust Fund dollars will cover the remainder of the $65-million project, which is expected to be completed in late 2012.

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Reynolds, Smith and Hills, Inc. is providing engineering construction services, in conjunction with local architects Stanius Johnson. Kraus Anderson is the construction manager, Ulland Brothers Inc. is performing the general site grading and infrastructure work, and Polyphase Electric Company (Mesaba Electrical Group) is completing the electrical work.

The airport will remain fully operational throughout the project. For construction updates and photos, visit www.duluthairport.com .

~ Press release

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