Gold Award – Runway 5-23 Rehabilitation, Grand Strand Airport, North Myrtle Beach, SC

Contractor: Hi-Way Paving, Inc.*

Owner:  Horry County Department of Airports     

Engineer: Holt Consulting Company

The new runway at Grand Strand Airport in North Myrtle Beach features an innovative 7.5 in. unbonded concrete overlay design on top of existing asphalt.  The concrete overlay provided an excellent means of renewing and ultimately increasing the lifespan of one of the oldest runways in South Carolina.

The runway was originally built in the 1940s as the Wampee Flight Strip and was used as auxiliary landing airfield for the Myrtle Beach Army Airfield. From 1956 until 1976, Grand Strand was the only commercial airport servicing all of Myrtle Beach. Following construction of Myrtle Beach International in 1976, Grand Strand has served the North Myrtle community as a busy general aviation airfield.

Making this project even more impressive was Hi-Way Paving’s ability to bring the project to completion under budget despite the fact that the project was hit with Hurricane Michael during the originally planned first week of the project.  A record rainfall occurred in the area during the course of construction, dumping 68.5 in. vs. the average annual rainfall of 46.12 in.

The project involved converting the existing asphalt taxiway into a temporary runway so that the airport could remain functional for 90% of existing traffic during the project. Once the temporary runway was operational, Hi-Way Paving milled the surface of existing asphalt runway to create a uniform 1.5% cross-slope of asphalt as a new base course, and then overlaid the runway with 7.5 in. of concrete pavement using a central mix batch plant.

In addition to the overlay, the contractor was also responsible for milling, widening, and overlaying the 3 existing asphalt taxiways to meet the new runway grades and slope requirements. Finally, the project included the full depth demolition and relocation/realignment of two existing mid-field asphalt taxiways.

The scope of the project, the hurricane and heavy rain proved no match for Hi-Way Paving, which complete major construction work less than a month behind the original planned completion. 

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* ACPA member.