Nome Airport Runway Safety Area and Apron Improvements
This federally funded project consisted of the Nome Airport Runway Safety Area Improvements Project and the Apron Improvements Project. The RSA Improvements section of the contract consisted of widening and lengthening the existing RSA's for both the main and cross-wind runways to meet FAA standards for commercial jet traffic. The Apron Improvements Project consisted of the reconstruction of both the cargo and commercial airlines aprons at the Nome Airport.
The Nome Airport RSA and the Apron Improvements Project involved overcoming several challenges in order to meet the very tight completion dates outlined in the contract. The largest of which was its remote location on the Southern Coast of the Seward Peninsula. All the equipment and supplies required to complete this project was loaded on a barge in Seward Alaska. The remote location of this project also required QAP to barge in and setup an asphalt plant as well as 1,200 tons of asphalt binder that needed to be heated 20 tons at a time in ISO tanks.
The 2014 construction season began earlier than normal in order to complete the relocation of the Snake River at the western end of the main runway while it was still frozen. The Snake River relocation was completed by the end of April and the project restarted on June 1st with the installation of the EMAS bed. This involved extremely tight grading tolerances to be achieved in order for the EMAS bed to be accepted by the engineer. A subcontractor from Upstate New York was chosen to install the EMAS blocks and had installed over 20 of these systems all over the United States. The EMAS bed was completed ahead of schedule and we were able to open the main runway back to full length a full week earlier than originally expected.
The Apron Improvements section of the contract required extensive coordination between QAP, the DOT Project Engineer, the Nome Airfield M&O office, the FAA as well as several very important Nome Airport stakeholders; including but not limited to Alaska Airlines, Northern Air Cargo, Everts Air Cargo and Lynden Air Cargo. Constant maintenance of the construction schedule was critical to ensure that the milestones for completion of 5 separate work phases were achieved. The coordination of mobilizing the paving and hot plant crews from different jobsites all over Alaska also presented a considerable challenge and required constant schedule updates and communication between different divisions within QAP to accomplish.
In the end, this project was completed ahead of schedule and under budget despite the several challenges facing it. In addition, all work was completed without a single lost time incident.