Marines rebuilding California tourist island’s runway

AVALON, Calif. (AP) — In a novel project that provides military training and a public benefit, U.S. Marines and Navy Seabees are rebuilding the mountaintop runway on Santa Catalina Island, the scenic tourist destination off the Southern California coast.

About 100 Marines and sailors began working on the island this month under an agreement between the Marine Corps and the Catalina Island Conservancy.

The work on the island’s Airport in the Sky is paid for by $5 million donated to the nonprofit land trust.

The airport dates to 1941, and the conservancy has been patching the runway at a cost of about $250,000.

Under the partnership, the asphalt runway will be replaced with concrete and should have a 75-year life.

Reopening is expected in April.

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