A major runway renovation project at Sacramento International Airport
was recognized by Engineering News Record – California (ENR-CA) as one of the 2020 Regional Best Project Winners in the Airports/Transit division. The honor was based on a variety of criteria, including overcoming challenges and teamwork, safety, innovation and quality.
“The incredible teamwork with all our partners throughout the process made this project a success,” says Cindy Nichol, Sacramento County Airports Director. “The team overcame several unforeseen challenges. Thanks to the continued collaboration among the Airport staff, FAA, County Construction and Inspection, Granite Construction and the AECOM design team, the project was successfully completed safely and on time.”
The modernization project required the removal of the existing Runway 16R-34L, which was then reconstructed into a finished runway pavement surface designed for minimal maintenance and a 20-year pavement life. The new design included a subsurface drainage system, a stabilized base course, and a concrete surface pavement.
The project team faced numerous unexpected challenges during the construction process: an existing electrical conduit comprised of asbestos cement; other severely damage conduits; large areas of unsuitable subgrade; and existing blast pads that needed to be rebuilt in full instead of the planned overlay. These unforeseen conditions added $4 million to the budget, but the quick-thinking team was able to overcome these obstacles and complete the project on schedule and without injuries.
The October due date was imperative in order to not disrupt air traffic. Runway 16R-34L is the only runway at the airport that offers the Category III (CAT III) Instrument Landing System (ILS) that allows pilots to land in the adverse foggy conditions which Sacramento is prone to in the late fall through early spring.
The Sacramento County Department of Airports worked with Sacramento County Construction and Inspection Division, FAA, the AECOM design team, Granite Construction and many subcontractors and material suppliers. The team worked cohesively using a Project First mentality throughout the duration of the project resulting in an on-time, high-quality project.
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