The U.S. Department of Transportation awarded the Duluth International Airport a grant of more than $8.6 million for infrastructure improvements.

The funds will be used for the third and final phase of runway reconstruction at the airport slated for next summer. Once the work on the main runway and several sections of adjacent taxiway is complete in fall 2019, it will mark the end of a years-long effort to reconstruct the 60-year-old, 10,200-foot runway.

“By investing in Duluth International Airport, we are supporting the growing aviation sector of Duluth’s economy,” Klobuchar said. “This investment helps secure the long-term vitality of Duluth International Airport and supports good-paying, local jobs now.”

Construction started on the aging runway in 2016 and resumed again in 2017, but was delayed in 2018 due to the needs of AAR Corp., which services Air Canada Airbus jets at the airport.