This week, Wellington Airport started major works on its runway.
Though most capital projects are on hold due to Covid-19, this essential work is needed to ensure the ongoing safety and efficiency of our airport operations. The work is required approximately every 10-12 years when the runway’s asphalt surface reaches the end of its design life and must happen overnight to prevent significant disruption to airline schedules.
“The resurfacing work was originally scheduled for the 2021/2022 summer. However, due to the absence of late-night international flights resulting from Covid-19, we are taking the opportunity to bring this work forward by a number of months. Doing this gives us a longer overnight working window, enabling us to complete the work more efficiently, in approximately four months rather than six, subject to weather. Fewer disruptions to the work will also enable us to efficiently deliver a higher quality product at a reduced cost, with fewer noise disruptions to our local community.”
There are two main parts to the project: milling and paving to replace the runway surface, between September and December 2020, and grooving of the surface to improve the water run-off and traction, between December and February 2021.
Over the next six months, more than 200 contractors are being employed to work on the project. In total, approximately 35,000 tonnes of asphalt will be removed and replaced on the runway. The old runway asphalt will be recycled by Fulton Hogan and used on other roading projects around the Capital, diverting thousands of tonnes of asphalt from going to landfill, and reducing the need to quarry for virgin aggregates.
“To capitalise on the reduced flights and enable the resurfacing works to proceed at pace, Wellington Airport, Fulton Hogan, and Beca worked together to complete the design process in a much-condensed time frame. Having collaborated on the last resealing 11 years ago we look forward to continuing our partnership to deliver safe and quality outcomes for Wellington locals and visitors.”
Fulton Hogan’s Surfacing Divisional Manager Ben Struthers says by working from 10pm until 5.30am, the team will have three more hours per night than in 2009.
“In addition to reducing the project’s duration, this will have quality benefits because longer nightly runs will mean fewer joins in the pavement and a smoother overall surface, as a result.
“Having undertaken the job 11 years ago, it’s great to have many of the same team returning. We’re excited by the project and are raring to go.”
As part of its preparations, the project team has received expert advice from acoustic engineers on how to keep construction noise to a minimum. It has also engaged the Air Noise Management Committee, which includes residential representatives and Wellington City Council.
As a result, the following steps are being taken to ensure noise and disruption is kept to a minimum:
Originally published here
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