Runway 14/32 Extension

Muskegon County Airport

Muskegon County gets FAA funding to extend Runway 14/32, creating a second primary runway.

The Muskegon County Airport was facing two problems with its 5,000-foot Runway 14/32. First, the Runway Safety Area (RSA) on the northwest end was too small. The runway ended 400 feet from a 50-foot bluff overlooking Mona Lake.

Second, the airport wanted to extend the runway. The airport is located four miles from Lake Michigan, and the wind shifts dramatically between seasons. The 6,500-foot primary runway (Runway 6/24) faces the wind in the summer, but Runway 14/32 faces the wind all winter. And at only 5,000 feet, Runway 14/32 wasn’t long enough to handle large planes.

Shifting and extending the runway would solve both problems, but was estimated to cost $9 million – nearly 10 times Muskegon County’s annual entitlement from the FAA.

After 5 years of negotiating, Muskegon County, Prein&Newhof, and the FAA worked out a plan that gave Muskegon County FAA discretionary funds to lengthen the runway. The project was broken into three phases to fit the available money.

Phase 1 relocated Grand Haven Road and its utilities to make way for the longer runway. Phase 2 shifted and lengthened Runway 14/32, added a parallel taxiway, and relocated the instrument landing system. Phase 3 reconfigured various taxiways for safety and efficiency, and resurfaced the older section of Runway 14/32.

In addition to planning and grant assistance, the P&N team was responsible for design, survey, negotiation with utility companies, and construction observation.


Award of Merit: Aggregate Industries Central Region, 2008


Call Bob Nelesen, P.E. at 616-432-6688 Email at:

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