US: Marines rebuilding California tourist island's runway - PressFrom - US
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USMarines rebuilding California tourist island's runway

06:55  26 january  2019
06:55  26 january  2019 Source:   msn.com

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More than 100 US Marines are due on Catalina Island , 20 miles off the California coast, early next year to rebuild the main runway at the Airport in (CNN) — When pilots land safely on a California resort island next year, they can credit a US Marine Corps "invasion." A force of more than 100 US

But the California Department of Transportation’ s Aeronautics Division warned the conservancy A view of Santa Catalina Island where more than 100 Marines aboard CH-53 helicopters are scheduled to arrive at the Airport in the Sky on Santa Catalina Island to begin repaving the runway .

Marines rebuilding California tourist island's runway© The Associated Press U.S. Marines and Navy Seabees pour fresh concrete as they rebuild the mountaintop runway on storied Santa Catalina Island, Calif., Friday, Jan. 25, 2019. About 100 Marines and sailors began working on the island this month under an agreement with the I Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Pendleton, California, and the Catalina Island Conservancy. The work on Catalina's Airport in the Sky is paid for by $5 million donated to the nonprofit land trust.(AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

AVALON, Calif. — U.S. Marines and Navy Seabees are rebuilding the mountaintop runway on storied Santa Catalina Island, a tourist destination off the Southern California coast.

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Catalina Island Airport's crumbling and ageing runway is about to undergo a million renovation with the help of the US Marine Corps. The ageing main runway at Catalina Island ’ s ‘Airport in the Sky’ has been in pretty bad shape for a number of years with potholes and pebbles.

The runway is in a remote section of the island , 11 miles away from Avalon, so the project will simulate working “This project allows Marines to gain valuable experience in repairing damaged runways The island also is a popular tourist spot and swells to about 1 million people in the summer months.

About 100 Marines and sailors began working on the island this month under an agreement with the I Marine Expeditionary Force at California's Camp Pendleton and the Catalina Island Conservancy. The work on Catalina's Airport in the Sky is paid for by $5 million donated to the nonprofit land trust.

However, the group isn't paying the Marines and sailors for the work, which the military considers valuable training.

The conservancy had been patching the runway at a cost of about $250,000 a year until the state Department of Transportation's aeronautics division said it needed a long-term repair plan. The trust then partnered with the Defense Department's Innovative Readiness Training Program, which looks to match up the needs of communities with military training opportunities.

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Santa Catalina Island (Tongva: Pimugna or Pimu) is a rocky island off the coast of the U. S . state of California in the Gulf of Santa Catalina. The island name is often shortened to Catalina Island or just Catalina. The island is 22 mi (35 km) long and 8 mi (13 km) across at its greatest width.

California Travel Guide. 14 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in California . Orca and dolphin shows, opportunities for close up encounters with some favorite marine life, and thrill rides are the main Part of the Channel Islands , Santa Catalina lies about 22 miles southwest of Los Angeles.

The airport closed in December, when tons of construction supplies were sent over from the mainland. The military set up an encampment at the airport and began work to replace the existing asphalt with concrete.

The airport dates to 1941, when it was built by leveling two mountaintops and filling in the remaining canyon to create the 3,000-foot (914-meter) main runway, which sits at an elevation of about 1,600 feet (488 meters) about 10 miles from the city of Avalon.

One end of the runway has a huge drop-off and using it has been likened to landing on an aircraft carrier.

The runway is expected to reopen in April. The renovation is expected to give the runaway a 75-year life.

Catalina lies south of Los Angeles, within sight of the mainland, and ferries bring most of the visitors.

Efforts at making the island a resort date to the 1800s but took off the 1920s when chewing-gum magnate William Wrigley Jr. began extensive development of facilities and attractions, including making it the spring training home of his Chicago Cubs.

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