Plattsburgh Airport Runway Reconstruction Begins | Local News
PLATTSBURGH – This spring’s temporary suspension on air travel to Plattsburgh International Airport to allow reconstruction of the middle section of the runway has made the terminal a quiet place.
But the work to crack and strip the aging concrete is causing quite a stir on the airstrip.
According to Chris Kreig, airport manager, describing the project as a runway redevelopment oversimplifies things, as it is a multi-step process.
Under a bright sky Monday afternoon, the guillotine-style 8600-H badger breakers slowly crossed the runway lengthwise and crosswise, releasing 16,000 pound hammers every six inches to smash the curb, each blow vibrating through the ground beneath the feet.
Then the hammer-style MHB badger breakers worked to smash the concrete into even smaller pieces. A roller with a “Z” pattern would eventually roll over the rubble, nesting it into a subbase ready to be re-coated with a new layer of asphalt.
The vast majority of the runway’s concrete will be recycled through this process, although in some locations, including an area near the end of a repaved stretch completed in 2018, the 14-inch concrete layer had to be fully excavated. and replaced. There, a front loader worked to remove the trash and a bulldozer laid new gravel on some landscaped fabric.
Tearing up and removing all that concrete could have at least doubled the cost of the project, Kreig said.
âWe’re saving money and we’re a little more environmentally friendly, if you will, by leaving it in place and paving it over (with asphalt).â
Two approximately 2,000-foot sections at the south end of the 11,759-foot runway were reconstructed in 2008 and 2018.
On April 13, when the temporary runway closure took effect, work began 4,400 feet from the runway midfield. This project, designed by the C&S companies of Syracuse, is expected to be completed by June 22, according to a coordinated schedule between the airport, airlines and other stakeholders.
Indeed, flights to Dulles International Airport via SkyWest / United Express or Orlando and Fort Lauderdale via Allegiant Air can be booked from June 23.
Kreig said work is taking place 12 hours a day Monday through Friday and paving could begin within the next two weeks.
Days have been incorporated into the construction schedule to take into account inclement weather. Aside from paving, all other building elements can go on in all conditions, including rain or snow.
âI’m the last person to want to close the track, but it’s necessary,â Kreig said. âIt is necessary for us to do it from a safety point of view and just the age of the track, the age of the pavement, it needs to be replaced.
“Now is the best time to do it – circumstances have made it the best time to do it.”
THE COUNTY SAVES $ 650,000
The runway may reopen after the midfield portion is complete, as approximately 7,000 feet for landing, plus an additional 1,000 foot safety buffer between aircraft and construction, can be provided.
Throughout the summer, the remaining 3,700 feet of the airstrip will undergo the same process. Between August and September, Kreig said, the final marks will be placed, followed by grooving to allow water to drain off the runway and prevent hydroplaning.
Combined with the two previous projects, $ 20 million has been invested in the reconstruction of the track. The price for this year’s project is approximately $ 12.5 million.
Under the provisions of federal coronavirus relief legislation, the Federal Aviation Administration is covering the entire cost of the project, saving the county more than $ 650,000, the 5% it would normally pay as a sponsor of the project. airport, Kreig said.
And doing a bigger project rather than smaller ones to avoid a temporary shutdown also saves costs and is more realistic. Due to the specialization of their work, the general contractor for the project, Rifenburg Construction Inc. of Troy, and sub-contractors like Antigo Construction Inc., based in Wisconsin, who are responsible for the rubble, reserve and cannot simply come and go as needed from the airport. them, Kreig said.
âIf we returned them, there is no guarantee that we would get them back. It’s easier to come in, do it all and get it over with. “
Kreig said the reconstruction will allow a smoother ride on the runway and reduce the burden on airport maintenance personnel.
And that certainly doesn’t detract from the quest to expand the list of airlines and airport destinations.
âYou want to keep your services, your infrastructure – you want to make them look as good as possible, as attractive as possible,â Kreig said.
âWe try to do everything we can to ensure a safe operating environment, so in that regard it’s an attraction. I mean, when all of this is said and done … we’ll have a 20-year track.
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