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C-130 News: Army Engineers pave future for Air Force

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Nov. 25, 2014) -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Little Rock District and Little Rock Air Force Base here, are collaborating on a multiyear project to repair/replace one of the Air Force's busiest runways. Without major delays and runway shutdowns, the project is expected to be concrete in April 2017, with a price tag of $107.9 million.

The runway project is funded through the Air Force's operation and maintenance budget, and managed by the Little Rock District.

"It just makes sense that when the Army needs to fly somewhere, they rely on the Air Force, and when the Air Force needs major engineering support, they rely on the Army," said Leon Iveson, the Little Rock District project manager for the project.

While this is one of the largest projects the Little Rock District has managed for the air base, it's not the first. The corps recently worked on the base's 40,000 square foot state of the art Security Forces Operations Facility and the Jacksonville-Little Rock Air Force Base University Center that serves active-duty personnel, retirees, military families and citizens from the surrounding community.

The little Rock engineers are also currently managing the construction of the base's new $26 million C-130J fuels maintenance hangar, which is projected to be complete in August 2015.

"The corps' challenge and opportunity is to provide a solution to the air base that meets mission requirements without disrupting the training schedule," said Little Rock District Chief of Programs and Project Management Division Craig Pierce.

Valued at $107,899,999, the new runway contract is set to replace the 12,000-by-200 feet wide runway with a 12,000-by-150 feet wide runway to include lighting and communications upgrades and incidental work.

"The new runway is not as wide as the original but has the same capabilities," said Iveson.

The runway was built in the 1950s, for bomber-type aircraft. Iveson said Little Rock Air Force base is now the Home of Combat Airlift, and serves as the largest C-130 training base in the world; the C-130 doesn't require the extra width the existing runway has.

The runway's complete overhaul comes after years of small patchwork types fixes. Just as roads crack and chip away from everyday wear and tear, so do runways.

"After you fix certain sections multiple times you just have to start thinking about a complete resurfacing or replacement," said Iveson.

Engineers have also discovered that nearby creeks and wetlands are causing damage to the runway. In order to keep water away from the structure and reduce future problems the runway will be elevated and roughly an acre of wetlands will be permanently filled in.

The runway will be replaced in six phases to avoid training and real world mission delays.

"The Air Force was actively involved in the design process to ensure valuable training time isn't lost," said Iveson.

The runway is 12,000-feet long; the shortest runway length allowed for C-130 training is 3,000-feet. To avoid training delays the corps will place 6,000-feet of the runway under construction and leave the other half in operation.

Sundt Construction Inc., a 100-percent employee-owned, Arizona-based construction company, out bid one other contractor to repair the existing runway.

The contractor is furnishing preconstruction submittals in preparation for phase one, which is expected to begin in January 2015. Phase one includes installing a new haul road, a temporary taxiway, a new electrical ductbank, and temporary striping.

Phase two is expected to begin in April 2015, and includes an overlay of the secondary assault strip and demolition and replacement of 6000-feet of the primary runway.

While the Corps of Engineers mission is broad, from building and repairing infrastructure to military engineering, they are charged with delivering vital engineering solutions, in collaboration with partners to secure the nation, energize the economy, and reduce risk from disaster.

View original article: http://www.army.mil/article/138993/Army_Engineers_pave_future_for_Air_Force/

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