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Down to Bare Earth: Civil engineers will begin replacing the 13,197-foot runway at Minot AFB, N.D., later this year, launching the first phase of a $70 million project, according to base officials. "This will be the first time the runway has had a full-depth repair since the runway was built in the late 1950s," said Lt. Col. Matthew Jefson, 5th Civil Engineer Squadron commander, reported the Minot Daily News. He added, "We're going to rip everything out." A Minot spokeswoman told the Daily Report that the first stage of the project, costing an estimated $20 million, includes widening and replacing the taxiways leading to the runway. This work will not disrupt flight operations, she said. Phase two, still awaiting approval, would rework the runway thresholds at either end, she said. The third and final phase in 2014 would involve tearing up the main runway end to end and replacing it, she said. The last phase would require temporarily relocating the base's B-52 bombers during construction.