2011 – ACPA National Award for Excellence in Concrete Pavement
2011 Silver Winner Commercial Service & Military Airports – Category
Project: Niagara Falls Reserve Airbase Taxiway A, A1, A3, Niagara Falls, NY
Contractor: Surianello General Concrete Contractor Inc.
Owner: U.S. Air Force
Engineer: Urban Engineers of New York, P.C.
The Niagara Falls Reserve Airbase is home to the U.S. Air Force Reserve Command’s 914th Airlift Wing, as well as units of the Air National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve, and a Military Entrance Processing Station that serves all five branches of the U.S. military. When Surianello General Concrete Contractor Inc. began a complete reconstruction project on one of the taxiways, it was immediately apparent the project would require close coordination among the owner, contractor, and subcontractor so that the construction did not interfere with the important missions of the base. The project required the installation of new heavily reinforced concrete pavement, 12,000 CY (32,000 SY).
Looking back at the construction of the original taxiway, it was completed during the 1950’s (using fixed-form paving), and the pavement since experienced severe joint failure. The specifications called for the new pavement to match the existing pavement, but it was soon determined and reported to the base engineers that matching the existing pavement would not produce the desired surface characteristics.
The project specifications required the use of a profilograph for smoothness measurement, but after inspecting the existing conditions, the contractor informed the base engineers that it was not possible to match the existing pavement and still meet the smoothness requirements. After all the information was presented, the base engineers waived the profilograph smoothness requirement in favor of matching the existing pavement.
Extra steps were taken to ensure that the only pavement that matched the existing pavement would be near the edge, not in the wheel paths of the planes using the taxiway. Wheel paths were hand finished after the paver passed over to further enhance smoothness.
In spite of delays, complexities, safety and security considerations, and the requirement to keep one lane of the taxiway open, the project was completed under budget and within schedule. The end result is a quality taxiway that will serve this vital military base for many years.