A cold and blustery fall day didn't deter people from attending the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Williston airport.
The XWA project has been in the works since 2011, so the community was more than ready to see some action!
The Williston Airport manager said the new terminal will be a game changer for Williston fliers.
"It will allow businesses to fly larger aircraft in on a regular basis which will allow for easier access to the Williston region," said Steven Kjergaard. "For commercial flyers you will see a dramatic change. This new airport will allow for more airlines with more destinations."
The projects that may get underway yet this year geared to preparing the site for major construction next year. Some of the 2017 projects include building a facility to house aircraft rescue and firefighting equipment, building a site to store and maintain snow and ice control equipment, grading the site, building the sanitary sewer system and extending and rerouting some utilities. The entire project is expected to be completed sometime during the third quarter of 2019.Unless, of course, the Native Americans have sacred burial sites within 50 miles of the new airport.
This is a $240 million project. Some reports say $250 million.
- FAA: $112 million
- City of Williston: $62.5 million from the sale of the current airport site and airport generated revenues
- State of ND: $56.7 million from the ND Energy Impact Fund
For Beth Christmann, the experience was slightly surreal, as she stood on land that had been in the family since the early 1900s.
The fields now belong to the city, and will eventually be the location of the new airport's terminal.
"It's hard, but we're proud. I think Dad would be very happy," she said of her late father, who had often said he thought one day there would be an airport near his land.
Although the land was valued at about $2,000 per acre by a federal appraiser, the city paid about $9,000 per acre to property owners.