Busy Taxiway Reconstruction While Fully Operational
Taxiway K Reconstruction
When a taxiway requires full reconstruction, it is almost always the case that the pavement will be taken out of operation while construction is completed. Because STL’s Taxiway K provides access to the airport’s Air Cargo Apron, which serves FedEx, UPS, and Amazon’s contracted air carriers, asked CMT to lead a team in developing a phasing plan that would allow the tenants’ aircraft to safely navigate the taxiway while it was being reconstructed.
The construction phasing on this project allowed passage of aircraft down one side of the taxiway while the other side was rebuilt. Because a full safety area could not be provided during construction, it was determined that the best alternative for providing safe passage for aircraft as they passed through the construction zone was the use of aircraft tugs, with wing walkers to guide them along the way. This required that operational staff be provided special training, as they typically only work on the apron.
Since aircraft tugs are not usually asked to leave the cargo apron, the project team also developed a series of temporary/bypass service roads so that the tugs could safely make their way back to the apron after pulling the aircraft through the construction zone.
STL’s Taxiway K project also features a unique drainage solution that CMT developed. The subsurface drainage design is based on the use of open-graded aggregates that provide improved drainage, resulting in longer pavement life. This innovative solution was recently accepted as an FAA standard.
Finally, it was critical that the project be completed before November so that normal operations could be restored before the busy holiday season for the three tenants. Despite the many challenges at hand, the project was open to traffic two weeks ahead of schedule and within budget.