One down, One to Go!
September 24, 2021
ABE completes first of two airfield closures for Runway 6-24 rehabilitation project
(Hanover Township, PA) – Scheduled to close for 72 hours, Lehigh Valley International Airport (ABE) reopened 4 ½ hours ahead of schedule on Sunday, September 19th following a pavement rehabilitation of the intersection of Runway 6-24 and Runway 13-31.
During this closure, no fixed-winged aircraft were allowed to utilize any movement area surfaces due to the heavy construction equipment that requires the use of taxiways as active haul routes.
“It took over 18 months of coordination between the Airport, commercial airlines (Allegiant, American, Delta, United), air cargo carriers, stakeholders, and tenants to ensure everything operated smoothly while upgrading our biggest asset – the primary runway. We definitely appreciated mother nature’s cooperation, as well,” said Thomas R. Stoudt, Executive Director, Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority (LNAA).
A total of 6,500 tons of asphalt was placed within the Runway 6-24 and 13-31 intersection over the closure which added approximately 4 inches of depth to the existing pavement.
“This pavement is designed for a useful life of 20 years while accommodating heavy Boeing 767-300 aircraft (350,000 lbs.) along with the forecasted increase in aircraft operations anticipated at ABE over the next two decades,” said Ryan Meyer, Director of Planning & Programming, LNAA.
Round-the-clock construction brought 200 pieces of construction equipment on site as ABE engaged in the next critical phase of this nearly $90 million project.
“While flights may not have been taking off and landing at ABE, over 250 contractor personnel joined LNAA’s personnel and construction management team on the airfield, so anyone driving near the Airport certainly witnessed plenty of action and activity,” said Stoudt.
Other areas also receiving upgrades as part of the closure included:
- 25-foot-wide asphalt shoulders on a portion of Runway 6-24
- Runway 6-24 edge and centerline lighting installation
- Final surface grading within the Runway Safety Areas (RSA)
Taking full advantage of the lack of aircraft activity, the Airport also installed 1,500 tons of asphalt on various other projects such as, pavement reconstruction at Gate 2 and rehabilitation of the terminal roadway pavement.
A second airfield closure will occur for 54-hours beginning September 28th – September 30th, which will be used to deliver a final 3-inch lift of asphalt to give the Runway 6-24 / Runway 13-31 intersection 17-inches of total pavement thickness