MCAS Cherry Point News


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Cones line the center of runway 32L as the contractors put the finishing touches on the newly resurfaced runway on Cherry Point Oct. 26. This was the first runway to be worked on since the start of largest paving project aboard the air station since the last repaving project in 1998. The cost of this project when finished will be $10.39 million dollars, which is less than half the cost of an AV-8B Harrier. "People may think spending this amount of money on a runway is absurd and useless," said Mike D. Morgan, the construction manager for Cherry Point's facilities maintenance department. "Think of it from this perspective, if we don't spend this money and we lose even a single Harrier we are losing more than $20 million dollars to buy a new one. With just one successful month of have a foreign object damage free landing space, this project pays for itself."

Photo by Lance Cpl. Cory D. Polom

Cherry Point begins resurfacing runways: Air Station begins project that may save lives

7 Nov 2012 | Lance Cpl. Cory D. Polom

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."


Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point