Canyonlands Field Runway Rehabilitation
Moab, Utah
Best Project

Owner: Grand County
Lead Design Firm: Armstrong Consultants
General Contractor: Staker Parson Cos. DBA Nielson Construction & Materials
Key Subcontractors: Construction Material Recycling; Mesquite Electric; Oldcastle Precast; Sat-Com Trucking

Known for its beautiful landscapes and unique rock formations, Moab relies on scenery and tourism to keep its economy moving forward.  The eastern Utah town is near the Colorado River, home to Arches National Park and some of the best mountain biking in the world.  To keep pace with growth, the regional airport needed to widen and improve its only runway, which also included a relocation and upgrade of the sub-surface drainage system. The challenge was to meet a tight four-month schedule that required paving during the winter without affecting daily flight operations.

Paving work had to begin earlier in the season than is typical to meet the late April completion date. This meant the team had to deal with everything from soft soils and sometimes sinking equipment to heat and moisture transfer in winter paving conditions.

Crews worked evening shifts seven days a week to place more than 53,000 tons of asphalt, allowing regular daytime flights to continue uninterrupted. The asphalt on the rehabbed runway had to be as smooth as possible, so the team implemented 3D technology to ensure pavement quality and an even profile.

The results were evident: The surface did not require a single grind to meet the contract requirements. The team delivered an improved runway that can accommodate larger planes and more travelers while maintaining an impeccable safety record of zero OSHA recordables and no lost-time accidents.

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