Runway paving project could delay SFO flights through Oct 16

Paving project gets early start due to COVID-19 slowdown

Oct. 8, 2020Updated: Oct. 9, 2020 11:04 a.m.


SFO’s closure of runways this week could cause significant flight delays.

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A runway paving project at SFO could cause delays this week

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Are you planning to fly out of San Francisco International this week? Currently, two of the airport’s four runways are closed down for a major maintenance project that involves repaving a part of Runway 28R at its intersection with Runways 1L and 1R. The project, which began Thursday night, will be underway until next Friday, Oct. 16.

“After the 16th, nighttime-only work will continue until the project is done in early December,” according to SFO spokesperson Doug Yakel. “This project is not as in-depth as last year’s 28L reconstruction, which involved digging down and creating a new base layer below the surface. This project is repaving the top layers, albeit at a busy intersection of runways.”

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The project was originally scheduled for 2022, but airport officials decided to get it done this fall to take advantage of the airport’s reduced flight activity due to the coronavirus pandemic – down about 60 percent from the same time last year.

During the critical eight-day shutdown, SFO expects about a third of all flights arriving and departing will face delays, especially from 9 a.m. to noon and 5 p.m.-8 p.m.

You might recall that in September 2019, SFO closed a runway for three weeks to conduct preliminary repair work in this same area, resulting in significant delays and flight cancellations, which of course is much less of an issue now with COVID-related flight cutbacks.

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Chris McGinnis is SFGATE’s senior travel correspondent. You can reach him via email or follow him on Twitter or Facebook. Don’t miss a shred of important travel news by signing up for his FREE weekly email updates!

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