Runway Resurfacing Project Underway at Grissom

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Rachel Barton
  • 434th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

The dry spring may not have been helpful for local farmers, but for contractors working to overhaul Grissom’s massive runway, it was just the jumpstart they needed.

Michael Perry, 434th Civil Engineer Squadron, base civil engineer is working closely with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to plan, coordinate and execute the extensive project to rejuvenate the 12,501 feet of runway.

According to Perry, the project is currently ahead of schedule.

“The weather has been more than cooperating,” said Perry. “There’s an expected number of inclement weather days and we have been way under that amount which has been great for this project.”

Planners for the project have considered every detail, from drainage to take-off and landing zones, to ensure the durability of the entire length of the runway.

The bulk of the runway is getting resurfaced to a depth of five inches, but parts of the runway are being completely excavated and the full depth of the substructure materials will be replaced.  

Perry explained that state-of-the-art pavers using laser guided systems will lay an estimated 2,500 truckloads of asphalt and 600 loads of concrete.

“If you go down to Florida, and you build a runway it lasts forever. It just sits there and bakes in the sun and that’s all that happens to it, “said Perry. “Where we are it will go through several freeze thaw cycles and each time takes a little bit a way over time.”

The project, which is building and improving upon the original runway which has been in place since the base came into service over 75 years ago, will continue to serve the Air Force mission for many more years to come.