CLEARWATER — St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport (PIE) primary runway rehabilitation project is underway.

The airport was awarded a $19.75 million Federal Aviation Administration grant, including $11.58 million in discretionary funds and $8.16 million in entitlement funds. Another $900,000 came from the Florida Department of Transportation for project design and construction.

The airport has committed $3.43 million to the project’s $24.1 million total cost. The contract was awarded to Ajax Paving Industries of Florida on Oct. 8, 2019.

The project includes asphalt pavement rehabilitation and reconstruction and is expected to be complete by spring 2021. New edge lighting will also be installed.

Runway rehabilitation is essential to safe operations at the airport due to weathering and cracking over time. The replacement lifespan is expected to be 15 years.

Runway 18/36 is 9,730 feet in length and intersects with the secondary Runway 4/22. Airport officials say for about four months, June-October, Runway 4/22 will temporarily be used as the primary runway while Runway 18/36 is closed.

“It is important to inform the public that changes in flight operations will occur during the closing of the primary runway with flight operations occurring from the east-west using runway 4/22,” officials said in a press release. “The project is designed to minimize operational impacts to air carriers, passengers and the surrounding community through a collaborative ongoing planning effort.”

Areas that may be temporarily affected by the flight path change include Pinellas Park, Largo, Seminole, Redington Shores, Redington Beach and North Redington Beach.