(Silver Award)  Runway 14-32 Rehabilitation, Pittsburgh International Airport, Findlay Township, Pa.

Contractor: Golden Triangle Construction Company, Inc.

Owner:  Allegheny County Airport Authority        

Engineer:  Michael Baker International   

When bids were let for the reconstruction of the cross wind Runway 14-32, Golden Triangle was the successful bidder on all six construction bids. 

The project involved removal and replacement of 185,936 SY of concrete pavement.  All the concrete was produced using Golden Triangle’s portable batch plant set up on airport property about 20 minutes from the project site.

In addition to the concrete pavement replacement, the project included subgrade, base, and drainage improvements along with complete asphalt shoulder replacement, as well as electrical circuit, lighting, and airfield signage replacement.

The original concrete pavement was crushed to a 2A or R4 gradation and was either used on the project or was stock piled on airport property for future reuse by the owner.  All the bituminous asphalt was milled and stockpiled on site for future reuse by the owner.

Precise grade control was a must as the runway intersected with two other parallel runways and intersected with 10 taxiways. The initial phases used traditional string line paving techniques, and then transitioned to GPS and stringless technology.

Close coordination was required with multiple subcontractors, as well as multiple prime contractors on adjacent airport projects. There were also rigorous quality control requirements to meet FAA specifications, and testing results confirmed consistency. 

Making this project even more challenging were the many sub-phases of each of the six construction phases, which led many working restrictions and extremely tight time frames.  In spite of all these factors, project milestones and completion dates were met and the owner and air travelers to the region now have a reliable, high quality facility.


(Gold Award)    Runway/Taxiway Reconstruction, Wayne County Airport, Romulus, Mich.

Contractor: Ajax Paving Industries, Inc.  

Owner: Wayne County Airport Authority

Engineer:  RS&H

Arguably one of the greatest challenges facing the Wayne County Airport Authority recently was the reconstruction of Detroit Metro Airport’s Runway 4L/22R, which is vitally important to the airport, as well as air traffic in southeastern Michigan.

Located in the world’s automotive capital, the airport commonly known as Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW) serves more than 30 million passengers per year. As one of the busiest airports in the region, the facility generates over $10 billion in economic impact annually.

The project consisted of nearly 450,000 SY of concrete pavement, encompassing 6.5 miles of airfield space, making this project the largest airport concrete pavement project constructed in the United States at the time. The runway is 10,000 ft long and 150 ft wide, and in high demand, so the airport authority had to “fast track” the design and construction.

Typically, the runway is used for aircraft arrivals and can accommodate operations in low-visibility conditions, making it critical to the airport’s operational efficiency and business continuity. The project also involved reconstruction of the associated taxiway system, providing a safe connection for aircraft from the runway to the passenger terminals at Detroit Metro Airport.

In addition to quick and efficient design and construction, the planning, design, and construction incorporated sustainable practices, including the re-use of stormwater for dust control during construction, along with other initiatives proposed by the contractor during construction. This monumental project was completed on schedule, allowing Ajax to achieve the maximum allowable incentives outlined in the contract.

In July 2016, ACPA hosted its Airport Pavement Design & Construction Best Practices Workshop near Detroit Metro Airport. As part of the workshop, the project was highlighted and workshop participants had the opportunity to tour of the construction.


* ACPA Member.