The rehabilitation of Gainesville Regional Airport’s (GNV) secondary runway is garnering accolades, including State Project of the Year from the Florida Department of Transportation. GNV executives accepted the award late last month at the Florida Airports Council annual conference.
To be considered for Airport Project of the Year, a project must meet all of the following criteria:
- Demonstrate exceptional professional skills and must represent a significant contribution to airport development, sustainability, efficiency, capacity and/or safety
- Be a project funded under the FDOT Aviation Grants Program
- Be completed in the state fiscal year in which it is nominated.
Runway 7-25 is a secondary runway used by general aviation and corporate aircraft. It was built by the U. S. Army in the 1940’s when the field was Alachua Army Airfield. The runway was last rehabilitated about 40 years ago.
“Traditional rehabilitation or full depth reconstruction was not within the project budget,” says airport CEO Allan Penksa. GNV took advantage of an opportunity to work with the FDOT on a demonstration project that will test several construction products and methods not typically used at Florida’s airports. “The FDOT covered the full cost of the project and will be monitoring the condition of runway sections to compare products.”
“One of the most challenging aspects of the project was maintaining airport operations during certain phases of work,” notes airport Facilities Manager Paul Adjan. In the runway intersection area, most of work was performed at night while the main runway (11-29) was shortened by 1000 feet because part of the work area was in the runway safety area. Each night, the contractor and airport staff installed temporary lights and reworked signage and other systems so the main runway could remain open all night. Systems were returned to normal operations by morning. The project was completed by AECOM Technical Services and Whitehurst & Sons, Inc.
The unique runway project was recently awarded the “District 2 Special Project” award by the Asphalt Contractors Association of Florida and it was featured in an article in the November-December 2015 issue of Airport Improvement Magazine.