San Francisco International airport plans to reopen runway 28L at 21:00 local time on 19 September after a two-week reconstruction project that was completed a week ahead of schedule. Construction crews have installed a new base layer and repaved and repainted the surface.

The runway, which is San Francisco’s busiest and, at 3,469m (11,381ft), its second-longest, was closed on 7 September. The construction work caused major delays and hundreds of flight cancellations, stranding thousands of passengers over the course of the two-week period.

The airport says in a statement that crews worked around the clock to create the new base layer for the runway. Because the previous base layer dated back to the early 1960s, the project team built time into the schedule to allow for unknown conditions below the base layer, which would have required additional excavation and material installation. These contingencies were not required, as the soil below was found to be stable, allowing crews to move immediately to the installation of a new pavement structure.

The project reconstructed a 579m section of Runway 28L, replaced lighting and drainage infrastructure, and overlaid a 183m section of Runway 1L.

Runway 28L is used primarily for arriving flights, with Runways 1L and 1R mainly used for departing flights. The intersections are the most heavily travelled areas of the entire runway system at San Francisco, with more than 68% of flights crossing these intersections.