Construction began Monday on runway reconstruction project at Detroit Metro Airport

Detroit Metro Airport

  • Runway 3L/21R and its parallel taxiway will be fully reconstructed this year.

  • The project is expected to be one of the largest in Michigan for the next two years.

  • 3L/21R is the fourth and final primary runway to be reconstructed in the last ten years.


By Scott Bolthouse | The Huron Hub |
ScottBolthouse@HuronHub.com

Published April 3, 2019 — 8 a.m. EST
Article updated

Construction began Monday on Detroit Metro Airport’s runway 3L/21R and its associated taxiways.

The 8,500-foot primary departure runway is located on the eastern portion of the airfield.

The $256 million capital improvement project will be funded with FAA Airport Improvement Program funds and airport revenue bonds, according to Detroit Metro Airport officials.

The construction project is expected to be one of the largest in Michigan for the next two years.

This year, Runway 3L/21R and its parallel taxiway will be fully reconstructed.

The new airfield pavement will consist of 17 inches of Portland cement concrete. In total, construction crews will place the equivalent of 73 highway lane miles of new concrete pavement.

“Runway 3L/21R was the first runway constructed at Detroit Metropolitan Airport in the 1950s,” said Wayne County Airport Authority CEO Chad Newton. “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 Federal Aviation Administration approved the environmental review of the reconstruction project.

The analysis showed there are no significant environmental effects or extraordinary circumstances associated with this project.

“We will incorporate environmentally sustainable practices into this project, as we have in the past,” said Deputy Director of Airfield Facilities Theresa Samosiuk, who is also the project manager. “We will be excavating 750,000 cubic yards of soil, as well as recycling the existing concrete. All excess soil and recycled concrete will remain onsite, diverting it from landfills and reducing truck emissions.”

3L/21R is the fourth and final primary runway to be reconstructed in the last ten years.

The runway will only be closed for the 2019 construction season.

The entire project is scheduled to be complete in November 2020.

Ajax Paving Industries, Inc. is the prime contractor.

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