The runway repair project at Bagram Airfield, the most heavily used military air base in the world, reached a major milestone Aug. 10, with the paving and opening of a temporary runway.
Completion of the temporary runway allowed the primary runway to be shut down for much needed repairs. Use of the primary runway will resume in January 2014.
The Army Corps of Engineers awarded a contract to Anham-ICS Serka Joint Venture for repair of the runways at Bagram Airfield on Feb. 11. Under the oversight of the Middle East District’s Office at Bagram, the construction team developed a plan to repair the runways in two phases, beginning with the old Russian runway that runs parallel to the primary runway.
On April 6, the contractor began demolishing the old Russian runway while the primary runway remained fully operational. The aged concrete runway which had not been used for years was reduced to rubble while approximately 24,000 cubic meters of concrete debris was removed, crushed and recycled. Assistance from the 455th Expeditionary Civil Engineering Squadron and close coordination with airfield management ensured efficient throughput of earth-moving equipment hauling materials to and from the airfield.
After rebuilding the earth and gravel base, the concrete runway was replaced with nearly 10,000 cubic meters of asphalt, transforming a non-functional and crumbling runway into nearly two miles of smooth asphalt surface. Working to the very last minute, the contractor diligently worked to put down the last of the pavement markings the evening before the scheduled turnover. On Aug. 9, this major milestone was achieved as the old Russian runway was reborn and prepared to relieve the primary runway for repairs.
The on-going success of this project is due to the hard work of a large team of experts representing Air Force and Army military and civilian personnel, the contractor, the Air Force’s 455th ECES, Force Projection Flight, Security Forces, Airfield Management, and the Army Corps of Engineers team.
“The complexities of this project with respect to the number of organizations involved, the number of moving parts, and the high level of coordination, compromise, partnering required cannot be stressed enough,” said Robert Schaible, chief Project Management Military Construction Branch. “Failure to deliver on time is not an option given the high strategic importance of the runway itself.”
During the next few months, the primary asphalt runway at Bagram Air Field will be resurfaced and should return to full operation in January 2014.
(Submitted by Resident Engineer Robert Stewart and Afghanistan Area Office Deputy Officer in Charge Maj. Wallace Mattos)