The Topeka Regional Airport has been in service since the time of World War II. Originally it was built as a military base, and later expanded to service both commercial and private air traffic, as well as both the Kansas Air National Guard and Army National Guard). The main runway (13/31) had been in use for many decades and was the original concrete pavement. In addition to needing to replace the pavement with stabilized subgrade and a drainable base and under-drain system, the facility also needed extensive upgrades. These upgrades included updating the runway lighting and signage, updating navigational aids, and improving the profile.
Emery Sapp & Sons (ESS) was challenged to replace the runway while maintaining military and commercial air traffic. This project was divided into two phases to be constructed over two years.
This $18 million project, was started in February 2017 and completed in October 2017. ESS crews completely removed 6,500 feet of the main runway and replaced with 16.5 inches of doweled JCPC pavement. The project also involved removing 154,000 square yards of existing runway and taxiway, grading more than 265,000 cubic yards, placing 123,000 square yards of lime treated subgrade, and placing 54,000 cubic yards of concrete and 20,000 cubic yards of the cement-treated permeable base. Additional features include over 18,000 LF of underdrain, a new lighting, and navigational system, new pavement markings.
The mix designs for both the concrete and cement-treated permeable base used granite and trap rock to increase the durability of the final product and potentially extend the life of the pavement. Fly ash was also added to the mixture to mitigate ASR and create a denser mixture.
This project was completed on time and under budget, with no accidents or safety-related incidents. Also, as a testament to the quality of the product, more than 112,000 SY of concrete pavement was placed with an average smoothness index of just over a 0.50 inch per mile. This smooth, durable pavement is expected to provide service for decades to come.