Friday, August 28, 2015

TOP STORY >> Runway construction takes off

By Senior Airman Harry Brexel 
19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs 

Work continues on the $117 million runway replacement construction project. The project will replace the current runway that was built in the late 1950s.

Initial construction began during the fall of 2014. The project is divided into six phases with varying active runway configurations and construction areas.  

“Currently, the project is nearing completion of Phase One,”  said Capt. Sean Stuntz, 19th Civil Engineer Squadron. “The contractor’s next major task is to pave and stripe the temporary taxiway. Phase Two is scheduled to begin in early September.”

The Department of Defense is working with an Arizona-based construction company to build and replace the 2.3-mile runway, assault landing strip and taxiways at Little Rock Air Force Base in Jacksonville. 

“The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers continues to effectively manage the project and inspect the quality of the contractor’s work,” Stuntz said.      

 “Their active oversight and leadership ensure the delivery of a product that will sustain the base’s training and operational missions.” 

Portions of the runway will be under construction while other parts continue to be operational. Though there will be temporary airfield closures to perform work close to the runway, there will be no detrimental impact to airfield operations and flying training throughout the six phases. 

“We will continue to work with agencies across base to alter flying and ground operations,” said Lt. Col. Daniel Brown, 19th Operations Support Squadron commander. “We have also been able to utilize community airports throughout Arkansas and several army posts to continue combat airlift and training operations.” 

Along with keeping C-130s flying, Airmen are also ensuring safety during construction.  

“Keeping the base and all construction sites secure is a top priority,” Stuntz said.  “The 19th Security Forces Squadron troops, security contractors and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers personnel are onsite at all active work locations.”  

The project is being funded through the Air Force’s operations and maintenance fund, and managed by the Little Rock District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The entire runway project is slated for an April 2017 completion.

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