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Runway being rebuilt at Portsmouth International Airport

Runway reconstruction at Portsmouth International Airport at Pease is moving forward as part of a multi-million project.

Airport Director Paul Brean said Tuesday that a $19 million, 12,000-square-foot addition to the existing airport building is also planned. It will allow for another passenger jet bridge and gate so Pease can accommodate two commercial aircraft at the same time.

That project includes room for private security screenings, escalators and a concession area.

Barry Duffy is the president of Pike Industries in Belmont. His team has been working through the COVID-19 pandemic to make progress on the $24 million runway reconstruction project, which is being paid for by the Federal Aviation Administration, the New Hampshire Air National Guard, Pease Development Authority and the state’s bureau of aeronautics.

The runway at Portsmouth International Airport is 11,322 feet long and 150 feet wide. It was last reconstructed in 1997.

Duffy and other officials from Pike were at the site with U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-NH, who wanted to see the progress in person.

They told Shaheen that in addition to having ample sanitizer on hand for employees, they disinfect equipment in the morning and at night. So far, not one employee has gotten sick.

Duffy said on Tuesday that getting the right personal protective equipment was a challenge because they wanted to make sure N95 face masks were available for front-line workers fighting the coronavirus.

Duffy said that they needed to find something that was comfortable to wear for long periods of time and that did not fog up safety glasses.

“Probably the biggest challenge was getting face coverings,” Duffy said.

According to Brean, supporting projects include reconstruction of four connected taxiways, replacing runway edge lights, threshold lights, replacing airfield guidance signs and runway distance signs with LED signs, installing two permanent precision approach path indicators, replacing and relocating three airfield wind cones and the installation of a new airport rotating beacon.

Brean said that when President Donald Trump holds his campaign rally at the airport on Saturday, it will be in an open hangar near the Pease Golf Course.