Construction of a $27-million runway project for Spaceport America is on track for completion this summer, nearly two months ahead of schedule. Crews are underway on the final concrete finish phase of the runway project, which began in August 2009.
The multi-layered runway is made up of 24-in. of prepared subgrade with the top 6 in. being a soil-cement mix foundation, followed by 4 in. of asphalt, and finally a 14-in. finish layer of concrete. Measuring 10,000 ft long by 200 ft wide, the runway is designed to support nearly every aircraft in the world, as well as the day-to-day space tourism and payload launch operations like those for Virgin Galactic’s WhiteKnightTwo and SpaceShipTwo. The large concrete runway will accommodate returning launch vehicles, fly-back rocket boosters and other space launch and training vehicles.
Construction is being greatly accelerated with the aid of GPS-equipped dozers, motorgraders, trimmers and pavers from Leica Geosystems, says David Guerra, superintendent for David Montoya Construction, the airfield’s general contractor.
Work is also proceeding on the 110,000-sq-ft Terminal Hangar Facility. The current construction project employs over 467 workers and is expected to reach 600 to 800 by this spring.