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Denver International Airport Begins $46.5 Million Runway Resurfacing Project

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DENVER — June 1, 2015 — Denver International Airport (DIA) is beginning work this week on a $46.5 million project to resurface one of its heavily used runways.

Runway 17L-35R will be closed from June 1 to approximately Sept. 15 as crews remove and replace about 2,180 concrete slabs on the runway and adjacent taxiways that are showing signs of deterioration. The project is part of DIA’s ongoing runway rehabilitation program.

At 12,000 feet long and 150 feet wide, runway 17L-35R is one of DIA’s four north-south runways and is located on the east airfield. The resurfacing work will be performed by Colorado-based Flatiron Constructors and will include replacement of the 625-square-foot concrete panels, new lighting components and the installation of a new runway pavement sensor system. The advanced sensor system builds upon an existing network of pavement sensors and will allow DIA to monitor the concentration of chemical deicing agents applied during winter storms to better calculate and manage the freezing point of the surface and the amount of deicing material needed.

“DIA is now 20 years old, and there is an increased requirement for maintenance of the facility,” said Ken Greene, DIA’s chief operating officer. “Our robust pavement management program allows us to efficiently track the age and condition of more than 150,000 individual concrete panels on the airfield, and to make proactive maintenance decisions that will help to ensure the safe operation of more than a half-million flights a year.”

The Airport Infrastructure Management division maintains all six of DIA’s runways, which are composed of approximately 1.2 million square yards of airfield concrete. DIA’s runway rehabilitation program inspects, documents, maps and photographs each individual concrete slab on the airfield every three years for signs of deterioration and compares the actual rate of deterioration of the concrete versus the forecasted life of the slab. In addition, airfield conditions are inspected daily by airport operations staff and annually by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Based on daily inspection findings, annual FAA inspections, maintenance inspections and data from the detailed panel inspections – as well as needs inside the DIA facilities, parking areas and roadways – DIA develops a six-year Capital Improvement Plan to fund needed projects. This plan is routinely reviewed and updated.

The FAA has consistently rated DIA’s runways in good condition and the airport’s runway rehabilitation program has been recognized with numerous industry awards, including nine American Concrete Pavement Association Awards for Excellence in Concrete Pavement for airfield work. DIA also conducts ongoing maintenance activities designed to extend the life of all paved surfaces. DIA’s airfield costs are paid through a combination of FAA grant funds and airline fees.

Picture of Runway 17L-35R at Denver International Airport.
Runway 17L-35R at Denver International Airport.

Denver International Airport is one of the busiest airports in the world. DEN is the primary economic engine for the state of Colorado, generating more than $36 billion for the region annually. For more information visit www.FlyDenver.com, check us out on YouTube and Instagram, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Sign up for DEN’s monthly newsletter Nonstop News.


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Denver International Airport is one of the busiest airports in the world. DEN is the primary economic engine for the state of Colorado, generating more than $36 billion for the region annually. Follow us on socials!