A new gate at Petersburg’s airport maintenance facility (Joe Viechnicki/KFSK)

Work is underway this fall at Petersburg’s James A. Johnson Airport to upgrade gates and perimeter fencing for the state-owned facility.

The Petersburg work is the second half of the Alaska Department of Transportation’s two-part contract with a Juneau construction company Island Contractors. That company is replacing vehicle and pedestrian gates along with some of the fencing.

Some of the most visible work right now is happening at the airport maintenance facility.

“Yeah there’s a lot of utility trenching to get power and (communications) lines out to the new gate system and the gates are being constructed as vertical pivot gates instead of the sliding gates that are there now, said Garrett Paul, construction project manager for the DOT.

Other upgrades are planned near Pacific Wings, Temsco and Nordic Air buildings along with the pedestrian gate at the main terminal building. The Petersburg work started in September. The first part of the project was for similar upgrades at Ketchikan’s airport completed this summer.

Paul says the hope is to complete the work this year.

“The project’s been pretty smooth really,” he said. “We had some procurement and supply issues due to the pandemic but overall the work is going smoothly. We would have liked to be in Petersburg earlier but this is the way the schedule fell and we’re going to either get out of there without opening up any more areas or we’re going to try to progress work to complete this year, as weather permits.”

The work is being funded by the Federal Aviation Administration. The total cost is $3,971,342. The Petersburg work cost $2,220,666 while the Ketchikan upgrades cost $1,750,676.

The DOT had a similar project in Sitka in 2018 and plans to advertise another one for Kodiak’s airport this year.