Moving in the ‘Flight’ Direction: Joplin Regional Airport Runway Reconstruction Project Feature
When it comes to aviation projects, ESS doesn’t mess around. In the last five years, we have constructed 50 airfield projects totaling more than $207 Million – and this list continues to grow. So, when the opportunity came knocking to pursue the Joplin Regional Airport Runway 18-36 Reconstruction, our teams answered.
In everything we do at Emery Sapp & Sons (ESS), we strive to come together and work as a team. Our recent work on the Joplin Regional Airport Runway 18-36 Reconstruction project is a true testament to that statement. Crews from Springfield, DOT, ESS Asphalt, and partner company Hutchens Construction (Hutchens) have come together to perform at top speeds, advance this project, and stay ahead of schedule.
This aviation reconstruction project involves the removal of the existing asphalt runway and replacement of a new concrete runway. It will take a whopping seven phases to complete. Why so many? This meticulous phasing plan allows our teams to do work at various locations within the project corridor while navigating the airstrip restrictions that take place throughout the timeline of the project.
With any aviation project, a critical component of the project is to limit potential impacts to ongoing airfield operations. During Phase 2 of the runway reconstruction, our teams were challenged to replace a key intersection with only a ten-day shutdown of both airport runways. With only this narrow time frame to complete a large volume of critical work, our teams were dedicated to keeping the project on schedule and determined to land big results for our client.
Project Manager, Klay Camden talked about the crucial planning that project team members went through in order to complete Phase 2 on time. “In the months leading up to the project, we dedicated a lot of time planning out this 10-day shutdown. Multiple planning meetings took place with all the key stakeholders, project teams, and subcontractors involved in the project. Through these meetings, an hourly schedule was developed. This schedule was our roadmap to success. Throughout the closure, we continually tracked our progress on the schedule. Even if something didn’t go according to our original plan, the project team was able to pivot quickly and adjust to realign resources.”
This road map certainly allowed for the crews to put up some impressive stats. During Phase 2, the project team:
- Removed 10,000 cubic yards of existing runway materials
- Placed 9,000 tons of base rock in 10 hours
- Paved more than 5,000 cubic yards of concrete and 4,800 tons of asphalt
- Installed all new underdrain, electrical, and pavement markings
So, exactly how fast did the ESS and Hutchens teams finish Phase 2? Drum roll please 🥁…35 hours ahead of schedule!
Klay stated that “this was a true testament to what our company can accomplish with the right planning and resources. It showcased what we can do with a little grit, determination, and a lot of teamwork.”
Project Superintendent Johnny Treese didn’t want to be left out of the kudos parade. “Everyone involved in this 10-day closure deserves a pat on the back. We worked hard and got it done in a timely manner, so we should all be proud of that.”
One unique advantage this team has had while working on this project is the ESS’ on-site concrete batch plant. Having a batch plant in close proximity to the project allowed our crews to fast-track the schedule, optimize material quality, and maximize production. Stringless Paving Technician, Lucas Kempfer, said that the biggest advantage this has given our teams is freedom. “We do not have to rely on someone else’s availability or trying to get a great product in a timely manner. Having our own concrete batch plant on site gives us the ability to control a lot of the variables that come with concrete paving.”
Lucas continued by saying, “this project was a true example of what ESS strives to be. We took on a project that was going to bring several entities together throughout the company. It wasn’t just one team or one crew. It was DOT, Hutchens, ESS Asphalt, and several of the Springfield crews who made this happen. We were able to use resources within our own walls, and use them effectively and efficiently.”
With a stellar project approach and a regionally-sourced workforce, this collective dream team has achieved some pretty impressive stats so far. In fact, during phase 4 of the project, paving crews placed 3,865 CY of concrete in just 15 hours. 😱
The stats are stacking up and the numbers continue to climb as the project makes its descent:
- Pavement Removals – 87,000 SY
- Grading – 44,000 CY
- Base Rock – 38,000 TNs
- Concrete Paving – 30,000 CY
- Asphalt Paving – 7,500 TNs
- Underdrain – 18,000 LF
Work on this project is certainly moving in the “flight” direction. Currently, our crews are progressing through Phases 1 and 3, which are on schedule to be completed by December 2021.
If you plan on flying into Joplin Regional Airport as 2021 wraps up, you can thank the following individuals and their crews for all their hard work and leadership to ensure you have a smooth landing:
Project Superintendent: Johnny Treese
Paving Superintendent: Steve Bird
Concrete Superintendent: Greg Hicks
Survey GPS Technician: Lucas Kempfer
Grading Foreman: Mike Coday
Underdrain/Drainage Foreman: Justin Craig
Concrete Paving Foreman: Scott Raub
CTPB/Trimming Foremen: Dallas Roan and Tommy Long
Asphalt/Milling Foreman: Dennis Browning