San Francisco International Airport (SFO) continues to accelerate runway improvement projects to take advantage of reduced flight schedules resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, the Airport announced plans to close Runway 28R for a period of four months to complete upgrades originally scheduled to occur in 2022. Accelerated work on this runway began in October 2020 with the repaving of a section of Runway 28R where it intersects with two other runways.
This latest project, slated to begin in April 2021, will repave the remainder of Runway 28R, and will also construct two taxiways, expand eight runway-taxiway intersections, and improve lighting infrastructure. Work will involve the four-month closure of Runway 28R, as well as a three-week closure of Runway 28L. All work is scheduled to be completed by Labor Day 2021.
SFO officials chose to advance this construction project during this current period of reduced flight activity, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in order to reduce the extent of delays and cancellations caused by the runway closures. During this period, airlines are currently planning to operate less than 50% of the flights originally scheduled prior to the pandemic.
During the runway closure, airport officials expect moderate delays, with most delays occurring on flights scheduled between 11:00 am to noon and 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm. Both arriving and departing flights are expected to be affected during these periods. SFO recommends that travelers opt for early morning flights before 4:00 pm PDT during this period, as most delays are expected to begin after 4:00 pm PDT each day during the closure.
The contract for the Runway 28R Rehabilitation Phase 2 project was awarded to Golden Gate Constructors. The total project cost is expected to be $127 million.