b'RAMPSRDU 59footprint and to expand almost all the way back to International Drive.Construction began in 2019 but was temporarily halted when COVID-19 hit the area in March 2020. We had done site grading and drainage, and we were getting ready to do some paving when we put it on the shelf, recalls Sandifer. Like the rest of the industry, RDU leaders took time to determine how the pandemic was going to affect business, and work on the project resumed in August 2021.As we slowly started to bring major capital programs back, we brought this project back, Sandifer explains. We didnt cancel the contracts, but we put everything on hold. Interestingly enough, we picked it right back up where we started andfinished it. After construction resumed, the project took about 20 months to complete.It is not easy to walk away from a construction project, Little reflects. When you stop, there are a lot of things you have to do to ensure that the site doesnt have any erosion control or drainage issues in the interim. There were also logistic details to consider when theproject resumed. When you restart, it is not a matter of continuing paving, it is taking out all of the temporary measures, and then there is rework associated when a project sits for a certain amount of time, Little explains. For instance, crews replaced stabilized base material that had cracked or was damaged from exposure to the elements for more than a year. They also brought in new underdrain stone and completed other preparatory work.A cement shortage presented yet another challenge. will load for takeoff the following morning. The area is alsoASTM C150 Type I and II cement is just not available anymore, adjacent to hangars used by the North Carolina Department ofso the industry as a whole has to move away from that, says Transportation and University of North Carolina.Little, adding that Summers Concrete successfully managed the The pavement that was there wouldnt support the weight oftransition to hydraulic cement for the parking apron. very large airplanes, so we had to do a complete reconstructionThe use of blended cements is becoming more common of the entire area, Sandifer says.because they have smaller carbon footprints than Portland cements. Repurposing PavementProject manager RS&H ushered the initiative from the design phase that began in 2017 through construction that ended this spring. In the end, RDU had a new heavy-duty parking ramp in an area that used to accommodate general aviation aircraft and a modest cargo operation. The site was a lightweight apron that was falling apart, explainsPlanningRS&H Aviation Engineer TarrynDELTA AIRPORT EngineeringLittle. It was pretty aged, so weCONSULTANTS, INC. EnvironmentalIndustry Analysisdesigned a 65,000-square-yardwww.deltaairport.com Program Management apron to encompass the existingTARRYN LITTLE Construction AdministrationBusiness & Financial PlanningAirportImprovement.comOctober 2023'