Roaring back: Reconstructed runway reopens

The south parallel runway at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport reopened Thursday, meaning flights diverted away from Southwest skies for the past two months are returning.

Other areas, such as St. Paul and downtown Minneapolis, will see a dramatic drop-off in flights.

Patrick Hogan, Metropolitan Airports Commission spokesperson, said the news isn’t all bad, however: the frequent flight delays plaguing travelers since the runway reconstruction began in August should ease.

“The delays were really caused by a combination of two things: one was low visibility. We’ve had a lot of rainy days when visibility’s poor,” he said. “It was kind of a combination of low visibility, plus having that runway out of service that caused over 4,000 delays between August 13 and the end of September.”

“Travelers and the airlines are certainly grateful to have this [runway] open,” Hogan said.

The $17.5 million reconstruction of the center segment (3,100 feet) of the runway required the pouring of 20 inches of concrete, on top of a foot of aggregate, over its length. The new surface is expected to last 50 years.