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Des Moines International Airport’s Runway 13-31 Reconstruction

Background

Upon reviewing a functional design report of Runway 13-31, a 9,000 foot long primary runway, the Des Moines International Airport (DSM), with FAA support, concluded complete reconstruction was necessary. Working with the Airport Authority and FAA Central Region, we completed a comprehensive study involving an existing condition assessment utilizing pavement cores, heavy-weight deflectometer (HWD) testing, petrographic analysis, and life cycle cost analysis of 15 pavement sections.

Approach

With FAA support, a program completely replacing the runway over the course of three projects was authorized. The first project involved the reconstruction of 4,100 feet of runway using fill from a borrow site on airport property to eliminate a “dip” in the runway as well as raise the surface profile by 6 feet. Also included was the remediation of a 70-year-old sink hole by grouting existing clay pipes which were buried 15-20 feet deep. Second, proper environmental documentation was completed allowing for approximately four aces of wooded, sloping terrain to be cleared and graded. Finally, was the reconstruction of approximately 4,200 lineal feet of runway.

Results

The complete replacement corrected profile issues, replaced a failing storm sewer, and updated all in-pave and edge lights. The multi-year program is tracking on schedule for completion in 2020, with costs projected to be at the planned budget of $38.5M.

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