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Airport runway construction

Des Moines International Airport’s Runway 13-31 Reconstruction

Background

Foth prepared a functional design report for Runway 13-31, the 9,000 foot long primary runway at the Des Moines International Airport (DSM). 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. From the study it was established, with FAA support, that full reconstruction of the pavement was necessary.

Approach

A program was developed to completely replace the runway over the course of three projects. The first project involved the reconstruction of 4,100 feet of runway using fill from a borrow site on airport property in order eliminate a “dip” in the runway and raise the surface profile by 6 feet to correct line of sight issues. The second project addressed the 31 end, which consisted of replacement of 2,500 feet of runway, including over 300 in-pavement lights to support the CAT-III approach. The final project was to reconstruct 1,800 of runway at the 13 end.

Results

The complete runway replacement corrected profile issues, replaced failing storm sewer, and updated all in-pavement and runway edge lights. The multi-year program was completed in 2019 for a cost of $38.5M, and was awarded multiple Project of the Year awards from the Iowa Concrete Paving Association.

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