MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. --
Facilities maintenance personnel are currently working on a $10.4 million project to renovate two of the air station’s runways.
Gaps began forming in the runways’ numerous construction lines. When a paver moves down a runway it lays level asphalt lines several feet across. Where two of these lanes connect, a construction line is created. The renovators brought in a larger paver from Germany that will level lanes 38 feet across, drastically lowering the number of construction lines the improved runways will have, and therefore, the number of construction lines between them.
Construction began April 4, on runway 32L, which has been paved and awaits finishing touches. Construction will begin in mid-November on 5R with a projected finish date tentatively scheduled for June 8.
Aside from the new asphalt, workers are completing a grading correction to provide a smoother surface and help improve drainage of the two runways.
The renovators will use more than 75,000 tons of P-401 asphalt. This type differs from asphalt used on public roads because it uses a sixth ingredient to help hold the mixture together over time.
"I believe with this mixture we could get about 20 years of use out of these runways," said Mike D. Morgan, construction manager for Cherry Point's facilities maintenance department. "This batch is not only stronger but in the past, the construction lines have been almost directly under the wheels of landing aircraft. With the larger machine the contractors have been using, they are able to move these lines to make the runways safer for our pilots."