Relief is in sight for Twin Cities travelers as airport officials reopen a reconstructed runway Friday evening, marking the end of a two-month project that caused flight delays.
Work began in mid-August on the $17.5 million project to replace pavement in the middle of the 3,800-foot-long north parallel runway. Planes have had to take off from and land on the airport's other three runways since then.
Officials said runway use and flight patterns will be back to normal by next week, after the Federal Aviation Administration checks the runway's instrument landing system.
Jeff Hamiel, executive director of the Metropolitan Airports Commission, noted in a news release that construction work was able to be completed despite near-record rainfall in October.
Residents in south Minneapolis who heard fewer jet engines in the past two months because of the construction will start hearing more noise again.
Officials said other residents in Minneapolis, St. Paul and Eagan should hear less noise now that flight patters are returning to normal.
The reconstruction of the runway was the last step in a $3.1 billion airport expansion project that replaced all runway pavement and added a new 8,000-foot runway.