BWI Runway Reconstruction Project in the Baltimore Business JournalTuesday, July 19th, 2011
BWI readies for takeoff on $315M runway projects
New FAA regs require longer, wider runways
Baltimore Business Journal – by Daniel J. Sernovitz, Staff
Date: Friday, July 15, 2011, 6:00am EDT – Last Modified: Friday, July 15, 2011, 11:55am EDT
Reconstruction of two runways at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport is scheduled to begin in mid-September.
State transportation officials are preparing to launch a major overhaul of Baltimore’s largest commercial airport this fall, a multiyear process expected to cost $315 million and to prompt some delays for passengers at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.
The Maryland Aviation Administration will shut down and divert all airline traffic from its two major runways over the weekend of Sept. 9 to kick off a five-year reconstruction of BWI Airport’s runways. The work is part of a federal mandate to widen BWI’s commercial airstrips to meet federal safety standards by 2015.
In addition, the agency plans to replace all the paved areas at BWI. Most of the pavement at the Anne Arundel County airport has not been repaved in two decades, and MAA spokesman Jonathan Dean said the work is long overdue. That work is expected to last until July 2017.
“As with any paved surface, it’s time to address the airfield,” Dean said.
The Federal Aviation Administration set new requirements about six years ago requiring all of the nation’s airports to meet certain length and width requirements for their runways. The idea was to prevent planes from skidding off those runways and causing serious accidents. The regulations require all U.S. airport runways to be at least 1,000 feet long and 500 feet wide.
The state Board of Public Works awarded a $21 million construction management contract July 6 to Parsons Transportation Group Inc. to oversee BWI’s reconstruction, including this fall’s weekend runway closures.
Representatives from Parsons declined to comment.
General contractor P. Flanigan & Sons Inc. was previously awarded a $6.2 million contract to improve the intersection of two other runways, the first of several major work contracts the MAA will award over the next six years.
Dean said he does not expect major delays but the MAA is working closely with airlines and the FAA on the project to minimize the impact on airport passengers. Still, he equated this fall’s runway closure “to a major winter storm, albeit one that we have been literally preparing for [for] months.”