Cost to build a runway in our inflation-free economy: over $500 million

RDU is building a new 10,600′ runway. It will cost “more than $500 million” (source) and the project will take five years (completion scheduled for 2028). The runway being replaced was built in the 1980s. I can’t find anything about how much it cost to build.

Back in 2019, this public works project was supposed to cost $350 million (source). So there has been inflation of 43 percent over a four-year period (official CPI from the BLS is up 21 percent).


  • Cost to rebuild three conference rooms at the White House: $50 million.

6 thoughts on “Cost to build a runway in our inflation-free economy: over $500 million

  1. In WWII, the seabees could slap something like this together in a week or so, right? (I’m told that nowadays the seabees train by building things and then tearing them down, so as not to compete with the local construction companies)

    • I think you can build a Seabees style runway more quickly and cheaply. That’s not what they’re building here.

      And 500,000 is only like five man-years, assuming free materials and equipment.

  2. At CYYC the “Airport Authority” spent ~$1B (2014 Canabucks, total cost, including connecting roads) building a 6-lane 1000ft tunnel under a runway, to save maybe 20% of passengers a 2 mile trip around the end of the runway to the terminal.

    Airport budgeting: price doesn’t seem to matter when spending other people’s money and you’ve got a captive market.

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