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Gary airport

Paving crews work May 14 to rehabilitate the main runway at the Gary/Chicago International Airport. The airport will close for 11 nights this month to complete the project by grooving and painting the new concrete landing surface.

GARY — Both runways at the Gary/Chicago International Airport will close this month for 11 nights to complete the final components of a $7 million rehabilitation project.

Starting Friday and running until June 23, the runways will be shut down from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. each night for pavement grooving, which will improve contact between airplane tires and the runway, especially in wet conditions.

In addition, the runways will be closed from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. between June 27 and June 29 to paint aviation markers on the runways.

"Once those are done we will be completely done with that runway project," said Curt Ulmen, airport manager for AvPorts, which administers day-to-day operations at the city-owned airport.

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The rehabilitation project began May 1 and has resurfaced to concrete from asphalt the final 3,300 lineal feet in the central portion of the main landing strip in Gary.

One end of the 8,859-foot runway was redone in concrete last year; the other end is the runway expansion completed in 2015.

Officials said concrete is more durable than asphalt and will enable heavier aircraft to use the airport.

Ulmen also said Tuesday that the airport is working with the Chicago Department of Aviation to secure new lighting for the runways.

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Financial Affairs Reporter

Dan has reported on Indiana state government for The Times since 2009. He also covers casinos, campaigns and corruption.