b'RUNWAYS AVL27Delta, United and US Airways) were definitely not on board with theAny time we had any excavation around original strategy, and opened discussions about other options. Anthe coal ash liner, we had to use extreme extended runway closure was something we really couldnt do, socare, and make sure the contractors were we had to look at some alternatives, he explains.aware of the liner, explains Loder. A puncture The option that ultimately prevailed was building an alternatewould have brought the project to a standstill taxiway parallel to the existing runway, and building it wide enoughfor Duke Energy to investigate and repair so it could be used as a temporary runway while the permanentitplus the possibility of involvement by state runway was being reconstructed. environmental authorities. Ultimately, AVLsNICK LODERcaution and perseverance paid off, and no Airport officials were hopeful when development for the projectpunctures occurred.began in 2008, but were somewhat deflated by delays that stretched the process into 2013. During that time, the runwayOther prep work for the temporary runway included laying continued to deteriorate so much that Mike Reisman, AVLs11,900 linear feet of drainage pipe; installing 72 drainage executive deputy director, coined the term cup of runwaystructures, digging seven temporary sediment basins, installing because maintenance personnel were picking up small pieces of4,200 linear feet of fencing, and seeding 150 acres for grass.asphalt during daily pavement inspections, and there was alwaysThe other primary component of Phase 1 was building a enough to fill a cup. Like anything else with the FAA, you need a1,200-foot-long, 38-foot-high retaining wall and filling in an area lot of runwayno pun intendedbecause it takes a long time toto establish the glideslope-critical area for the temporary runway. get projects moving, Bleiweis remarks.The theme on this project was keeping the NAVAIDs active So, while AVL waited for the green light, it took action to maintainthroughout construction, Loder muses. This is a single-runway safety. Interim measures included a full seal coat and asphaltairport in the mountains with low IFR conditions almost every day. rejuvenation project to eke a few more years of life out of the runway. To maintain air carrier operations, we had to protect the ILS-critical areas for the localizer and glideslope throughout the program.The FAA signed off on the plan in 2011 but required it to be executed as four separate projects. Normally, the FAA will let youTo save costs during the initial stages of work, the FAA design, bid and build a project like this at one time, Bleiweis says.permitted AVL to make the permanent taxiway/temporary runway For budgetary reasons, they required us to break the program100 feet wide and 7,000 feet long50 feet narrower and 1,001 up into four separate segments. Each phase was slated to take about a year. Given the scope and structure of the project, Bleiweis knew the airport needed to pick its project team carefully. RS&H, the firm that performed the original runway condition reporting work, was selected as the primary consultant responsible for program management, and AVCON served as the engineer of record. We knew we were in for a major project, so part of the criteria when we selected them was in how they would tackle the project, how theyd oversee it, how they put it all together, says Bleiweis. Phasing the project was definitely a planning puzzle, notesMORE THAN A CONSULTANTJames Moose, P.E., regional manager forA trusted partner of Asheville Regional Airport AVCON. We knew what we wanted to getand throughout the Carolinasto, we just had to dissect it to determine what all the pieces were, implement the design, and then develop the scopes for the construction based on the available funding in a way that allowed us to keep the airfield open, he explains.ENGINEERS & PLANNERSJAMES MOOSEOff to a Smooth Start The first phase of the projectsite prep and drainage for the temporary runway/permanent taxiwaygot underway in 2014. The airport had to add 671,000 cubic yards of dirt to level the site of the new temporary runway. Precautions had to be taken during construction because the site was on top of an area previously filled1-888-AVCON-99 | avconinc.comwith coal ash, which AVL received from Duke Energy in 2009. The material is enclosed within a heavy-duty liner, creating what Nick Loder, senior aviation engineer with RS&H calls a coal ash burrito with a 5-foot soil cap on top. AirportImprovement.comJuly | August 2022'