Contractor to be honored at international CONEXPO-CON/AGG equipment exposition for making a significant difference for the community’s quality of life
Anyone who flies a lot has wondered what could be done to eliminate delays. Just one experience of sitting in a terminal or on a runway for several hours is something no one wants to repeat.
Millions who traveled via New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in the past decade had good reason to dread flying. However, runway expansion and improvement have benefited travelers using the airport.
However, it’s not just travelers who benefit from runway expansion as consumers benefit too. JFK is a world-leading international air cargo center, with nearly 4 million square feet of modern, state-of-the-art cargo warehouse and office space. JFK Airport’s newly renovated runway reduces delays for the shipment of goods that now arrive and depart on schedule, resulting in lower cost of goods passed on to consumers.
The thriving cargo business supports the local economy by creating and preserving jobs and supporting other businesses linked to JFK.
JFK Was One of the Worst-performing Airports
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, in 2009, JFK ranked 28th out of 31 major airports in on-time performance, meaning that a “percentage of scheduled operations” for flights at JFK did not happen within allowable time frames. Flight procedures lagged so far behind schedule that passengers lost valuable time just because they had to use JFK for originating or connecting flights.
The delays originating at JFK rippled through the nation’s—indeed, the world’s—air transportation system. After all, the airport is located in the largest U.S. metro area and is a major destination for international travelers as well.
Construction Is the Solution
In early 2010, the New York/New Jersey Port Authority implemented a $376.3-million plan to improve matters for long-suffering air travelers by improving the busiest of JFK’s four runways—its 13R-31L (“Bay”) Runway, the nation’s third-longest at 14,572 feet. The Bay Runway took more than half of the airport’s departures in 2008: about 440,000 flights and 48 million passengers.
General contractor Tutor Perini, Sylmar, Calif., was awarded the contract to oversee the widening of the runway from 150 to 200 feet to allow for new delay-reduction taxiways, among the improvements. The work improves aircraft queuing, allows quicker departures and easier access between taxiways and terminal gates, and accommodates the massive Airbus A380.
Contractor Moves Speedily to Replace Old Pavement
Tutor Perini had to move fast. The runway closed for only 120 days. It was torn up and resurfaced with an 18-inch layer of concrete. The first phase of the project covering about two-thirds of the runway length was put on the fast-track schedule, with overall completion by the end of 2011.
Arguably the most noteworthy construction task was the first one—tearing out the worn out pavement by milling the existing asphalt surface. If milling was not completed by the end of March, the entire project schedule would be thrown off. The busiest part of the year for air travel would arrive and JFK would be a bigger bottleneck than ever.
After the runway was milled, it was resurfaced with an 18-inch layer of concrete using a paving machine that paved 1,000 feet a day. All told, it was estimated that improvements could reduce delays by 10,500 hours, according to the New York Port Authority.
This challenging project will make air travel smoother in and out of New York—not to mention throughout the rest of the nation and the world—and saving thousands of hours of time provides for the convenience and well-being of travelers. And saving on travel time is a clear-cut quality-of-life benefit to millions.
CONEXPO-CON/AGG is the international gathering place in North America for the construction industries. The event features exhibits of the latest technologies and innovations in equipment, products and services plus extensive industry-targeted education. The next CONEXPO-CON/AGG is March 4-8, 2014 at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, USA. More than 100,000 attendees are expected. For more information about CONEXPO-CON/AGG, visit www.conexpoconagg.com