Pebbles, potholes and other pavement problems can threaten airport safety, security, reliability and convenience. Such foreign object debris also comes with a cost, contributing to an
estimated $4 billion in damages each year, according
It’s no wonder, then, that all parties involved — pilots,
passengers, airlines and operators alike — demand and
require clear, smooth runways and taxiways.
In December 2013, the Kansas City Aviation Department
(KCAD) hired Burns & McDonnell to design the
rehabilitation of Runway 1R-19L, where spalling
associated with durability cracking (D-Cracking) in the
existing Portland cement concrete (PCC) surface had
grown progressively worse. A petrographic analysis
ruled out the possibility of alkali-silica reaction (ASR)
in the concrete.
During preliminary design, Burns & McDonnell
conducted topographic surveying and a geotechnical
investigation. RDM International Inc. performed nondestructive testing with a Falling Weight Deflectometer.
Based on these studies, Burns & McDonnell formulated
several options for rehabilitation. Given that the
underlying base course was in excellent condition,
KCAD opted to remove the 17-plus inches of existing
PCC and replace it with a new PCC surface.
Preliminary engineering also included an initial cost
estimate and presentation of Construction Safety and
Phasing Plans (CSPP) for the projects. KCAD tasked
Burns & McDonnell with splitting the project into
two packages to be constructed in the 2015 and 2016
calendar years. This provided operational flexibility in
that the airport would be able to maintain use of both
parallel runways for winter operations. The 2015 project
(Package 1) would include Runway 1R-19L north of the
intersection with Runway 9-27; the 2016 construction
project (Package 2) would include the intersection
of Runway 1R-19L and Runway 9-27, as well as the
remaining southern portion of Runway 1R-19L.
Runway 1R-19L — Package 1
This project was designed in 2014 to be bid in the
2015 project season. Preliminary engineering included
an investigation into the local aggregate sources for
PCC paving. Our team determined that the existing
limestone aggregate used for PCC production on the
airfield at MCI would be inadequate for the job. During
this time, the Kansas City Metro Materials Board
(KCMMB) had produced a specification whose goal was
to eliminate problems of D-Cracking and ASR distresses
that had been prevalent in the region. Our team met
with members of FAA, KCMMB, KCAD, American
Concrete Pavement Association and local public works
directors to reach an agreement on a modified PCC FAA
specification (P-501). This work identified aggregate
sources to reduce the potential for further PCC distress
related to poor materials.
Funding concerns allowed our design team the
opportunity to break out a bid alternate for the project.
Ultimately the bid alternate was selected based on
good pricing, and the total bid was $17.9 million —
a total that included bringing in granite aggregate
This project also included the design of new
in-pavement and runway edge lighting, new striping
and full-depth removal of Taxiway E- 3, from Runway
1R-19L to Taxiway E.
This project was constructed in the 2015 construction
season and was substantially complete in December 2015.
Runway 1R-19L — Package 2
This project was designed in 2015 for the 2016
construction season and remains under construction.
During the design, much of the preliminary engineering
performed for Package 1 also applied to this project,
with two notable exceptions:
■ ■ This project included the complete removal and
reconstruction of high-speed Taxiway E- 6. During
preliminary engineering, FAA mandated to KCAD
that, due to the proximity of Taxiway E- 6 to the
Runway Safety Area (RSA) of Runway 9-27, the
taxiway must be relocated to the south based on
the updated FAA Advisory Circular (AC) 150/5300-
13A. This required a complete pavement design to
be provided by Burns & McDonnell for the project
and included placement of lime stabilized subgrade,
6 inches of FAA P-209 Crushed Aggregate, 6 inches
of P-306 Econocrete Base Course and 17 inches
of P-501 concrete. Further, the team designed the
taxiway’s geometry in accordance with the new
AC requirements, and included new pavement
underdrains, airfield lighting and installation of
taxiway centerline cans for future use.
■ ■ This project included a complex CSPP due to the
intersection of Runway 1R-19L and Runway 9-27.
It also included three bid alternates, including the
relocation of Taxiway E- 6 and taxiway intersections
for Taxiways C, D, E and F.
The project is currently under construction and is
anticipated to be completed by the end of December. The
project — bid at $25.4 million— includes in-pavement
and runway/taxiway edge lighting design, new
stormwater drainage evaluation and design, and new
airfield pavement marking.
Jason Fuehne is a project manager in the Aviation Group at Burns &
McDonnell. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.