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SFO Runway to Close for 20-Day Reconstruction, Flight Delays Expected

SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (CBS SF) -- A San Francisco International Airport runway is scheduled to close Saturday for a 20-day reconstruction project and officials are advising air travelers to expect delays and drivers to expect increased traffic.

Runway 28L will close at 12:01 a.m. Saturday to allow crews to immediately begin removal of the surface paving for installation of a new base layer.

During the project a large volume of construction trucks will be entering and leaving the site, with an expected increase in traffic volume at the intersection of Millbrae Avenue and Old Bayshore Highway.

"At the peak of construction activities, up to 600 truck deliveries are expected in a 24-hour period," the airport said in an announcement. Flaggers and airport police will conduct traffic control during construction, which may require some lane closures.

Motorists are advised to allow extra travel time in the area or take alternate routes.

The runway is expected to reopen on Friday, Sept. 27. The cost of the federally funded project is projected at $16.2 million.

During construction, the airport will curtail the hours of its program maximizing nighttime flights over water and away from land and populated areas. The program will end at 6 a.m. instead of its normal 7 a.m.

to minimize delays by allowing extra use of runways 1L and 1R for departing flights. The change is expected to affect about 26 flights a day during the closure.

"Airlines have collaborated with SFO to voluntarily reduce their flight schedules to lessen the length of delays," the airport said. "When combined with reductions from other non-airline flight operations, total flights at SFO have been reduced by 13 percent during the 20-day period of the runway 28L closure."

Airlines have also shifted some schedules to reduce demand during peak times.

Flight delays during construction, both domestic and foreign, are expected to begin after 9 a.m. and to average 30 to 45 minutes, but some could be delayed as long as two hours. Travelers are advised to schedule flights before then if possible.

The highest potential for delays will be Wednesdays through Fridays.

Runway 28L was repaved in spring 2017, but inspection showed that the base underneath was "showing signs of fatigue cracking due to the large amount of aircraft activity in this area," the airport said.

"The closure is being conducted to construct a new base for Runway 28L, one of two runways used primarily for arriving flights, in the area where it intersects with Runway 1L and 1R, which are primarily used for departing flights. These runway intersections are the most heavily-traveled areas of the entire runway system at SFO, with more than 68% of all flights crossing these intersections."

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