Have you ever wondered how thick runway pavement is?

Well, the primary runway at the Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport is a total of 44 inches thick, which includes 16 inches of concrete. It takes a substantial pavement section to hold up to repeated wheel loadings by 737s and the large cargo aircraft like the ones FedEx and UPS fly in and out of Lubbock every day. One major challenge on projects like Runway 17R-35L at Lubbock is how to undertake such a major effort with minimal disruption to the flight operations.

Very detailed construction safety and phasing plans are prepared on major projects like this one and serve as a guide to successfully completing the work. Taxiway Juliet is the primary path for moving traffic from the west side to the east side of the airfield at Lubbock. This time-lapse video shows how the Runway 17R-35L/Taxiway Juliet intersection was demolished and fully reconstructed from the bottom up in 94 short days.

Time Lapse: Taxiway Juliet Reconstruction at Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport from Parkhill, Smith & Cooper on Vimeo.

The contractor did a very good job of adhering to the phasing plan and sequencing their operations in a manner that allowed each successive layer to commence right on the heels of the underlying layer. Team-wide collaboration, continuous communication, pro-active quality monitoring and engaged construction management are other key factors that helped contribute to a successful project completed on-time and under budget