Michael Baker is a principal firm of the Aviation Infrastructure Solutions Joint Venture (AIS), which has designed a majority of the important airfield projects at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL). Recently, the team was responsible for the design of the Runway 8L-26R pavement replacement project.
Runway 8L-26R is ATL’s northernmost runway. Constructed in 1984, this 9,000-foot-long, 150-foot wide runway welcomes more than 500 domestic, international and cargo flights to ATL each day. Due to the huge volume of traffic, runway construction projects present unique challenges. Every day a runway is out of service costs the airlines millions in increased fuel costs, due to delays.
The team was initially tasked with developing a study to evaluate the runway’s pavement condition. Based on the study and coordination with the client, it was decided that only the keel section, the center 100 feet of the width of the runway, would need to be replaced. This approach greatly reduced the cost and construction schedule on this highly important asset of the ATL airfield.
Another design decision that helped expedite construction was the pavement section design itself. The previous pavement section was composed of 16 inches of Portland Cement Concrete (PCC) on six inches of cement-treated base and six inches of soil cement. By converting the pavement section to 20 inches of PCC on two inches of asphalt leveling base, the construction process could be further expedited while providing the same level of structural support.
This $35 million construction project was completed with only a 29-day runway closure. Pre-demolition work such as sawcutting the pavement, was performed at night prior to the 24/7 closure so as not to disrupt airport operations. The 29-day closure took an average of 300 personnel per shift, working more than 210,000 man-hours during the complete runway closure.
Over the past several years, the AIS team designed the Runway 8R-26L End-Around Taxiway and the rehabilitation of Runway 8R-26L (59-day closure).
“Michael Baker is proud to serve the City of Atlanta Department of Aviation as an engineering design firm to modernize ATL through the successful execution of numerous improvement projects.”
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