Kodiak Airport RSA
Kodiak, Alaska  
Best Project

Owner/Developer Alaska Dept. of Transportation and Public Facilities
General Contractor Kiewit Infrastructure West Co.
Design Firm HDR Alaska Inc.
Subcontractors Brechan Enterprises; Belarde Custom Concrete; Little Susitna Construction; Warwick Surveying; Specialized Pavement Marking; Rl Trucking; Boyer Logistics; Zodiac Arresting Systems America; Concrete Technology

The $59-million Kodiak Airport project extended two runway safety areas 600 ft into the Gulf of Alaska by constructing an adjacent rock revetment, new service roads and taxiway, and by installing material arresting systems.

General contractor Kiewit Infrastructure West Co. worked in collaboration with the Alaska Dept. of Transportation and Public Facilities, Kodiak Airport, the Federal Aviation Administration and the U.S. Coast Guard while working in severe weather conditions and subject to environmental constraints at the remote project site.

To develop the runway safety areas, an estimated 1.1 million tons of rock were used to fill a portion of the Gulf of Alaska. Much of the material came from two quarries Kiewit developed that were 794 miles apart: one on Kodiak Island and one at the Wrangell Harbor Quarry in southeast Alaska. Prefabricated material, including core locks and blocks for the material arrestor system, were barged from Seattle.

Despite the challenges and more than 100,000 worker hours, there were zero OSHA recordable incidents.

“The logistics on this project were by far the biggest challenge—barging materials, remote quarries, limited operational windows and environmental challenges. Add to that the operational airport and you have a tough project,” according to one Best Projects judge.

Dustin Lehman, project manager at Kiewit, says the top three high-risk operations were haul-traffic interaction with public and air traffic, drill and shoot operations and confined space operations within box culvert repairs.

“There were multiple moving parts associated with the construction of the Kodiak RSA,” Lehman says. “For Kodiak Airport, we developed, implemented and maintained a written project-specific safety plan for all activities performed by Kiewit and our subcontractors. Kiewit management and field supervision are required to plan safety into each work task to ensure that nobody gets hurt.”

Each crew on the construction team also participated in daily job safety assessments, and weekly sitewide safety meetings were held with all personnel on the jobsite, including subcontractors.

Despite the planning efforts, Lehman says it was the desire for workers to get home safely that delivered an unblemished safety record.

“Crew buy-in and thorough-planning of all operations were key drivers of our successful safety record,” he says. “It took everyone’s involvement and constant attention to complete the work under challenging conditions with high-risk exposure. That mentality started the first day on the project, and expectations were thoroughly communicated from on-boarding until completion.”

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