Originally published Tuesday, October 29, 2019 at 12:38p.m.

CHINLE, Ariz. (AP) — The Navajo Division of Transportation has decided to keep the Chinle Community Airport runway open after all, with intermittent closure for repairs.

The division's Road Maintenance and Airports Management departments assessed the runway Oct. 14 and wanted to close it indefinitely until improvement plans could be determined.

The assessment showed the north and south ends of the 6,900-foot (2,103-meter) runway have significant asphalt problems with some large cracks.

On Oct. 22, the transportation division met with the Indian Health Service, Chinle Comprehensive Health Care Facility, Eagle Air Med and Armstrong Consultants to further assess the runway.

Armstrong Consultants specializes in airport planning, engineering, design and construction administration.

Current repairs to the runway are estimated at $900,000 with major reconstruction of the entire runway scheduled for 2022 at a cost of $5 million.

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