Detroit Metropolitan Airport to commence runway reconstruction project

Detroit Metropolitan Airport in Michigan is set to start a $256m reconstruction project to modernise its 70-year-old runway.

According to the airport authorities, reconstruction of runway 3L/21R at the airport and its associated taxiways will be launched by prime contractor Ajax Paving Industries on 1 April.

The plans will see Runway 3L/21R and its parallel Taxiway M constructed this year. Taxiway P and a new connector taxiway will be reconstructed in 2020.

The runway will only be closed for the construction season this year and is scheduled to be completed by November next year.

Located on the eastern portion of the airfield, the redevelopment cost for the 8,500ft primary departure runway will be funded with FAA Airport Improvement Program funds and airport revenue bonds.

Pavement of the new airfield will be done using 17in of Portland Cement Concrete. Overall, nearly 73 highway lane miles of new concrete pavement will be used for the reconstruction of the runway.

Wayne County Airport Authority CEO Chad Newton said: “Runway 3L/21R was the first runway constructed at Detroit Metropolitan Airport in the 1950s.

“The runway and taxiways have reached the end of their useful life. This reconstruction effort will ensure our pavement meets current FAA standards, and improve the efficiency of our airfield by reducing departure times. Passengers will see the construction, but flights will not be impacted.”

Late last year, the FAA approved the environmental review of the reconstruction project. The analysis showed there are no significant environmental effects or extraordinary circumstances associated with this project.

Detroit Metropolitan Airport airfield facilities project manager and deputy director Theresa Samosiuk said that nearly 750,000 cubic yards of soil of excavated and existing concrete will be recycled for the runway.

3L/21R is the fourth and final primary runway to be constructed in the last decade.