Newark Liberty International Airport reopened one of its two main runways on Friday after finishing renovations five days early, the owners announced on Sept. 29.
The runway, called 4R-22L, was taken offline for a three-month closure for repaving and other renovations. It was set to reopen Oct. 1, but came back online this Monday, according to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates the airport.
Port Authority officials said that the runway handled nearly half of the airport’s traffic before the pandemic.
Airport officials will continue light work on the runway while it’s still open, including taxiway and lighting improvements, which will continue during off-peak hours until next spring.
The massive $84.2 million in renovations included repaving and the installation of tarmac lighting and electrical wires.
Airport travel has seen some degree of rebound over the summer after it was decimated last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. But the delta variant has nonetheless slowed down the economy, including the travel sector.
Data from the Port Authority showed the organization’s airports had 8.1 million passengers in August 2021, down 38% from August 2019.