CONSTRUCTION EQUIPMENT North America

Runway Rehab with Volvo Paver

Smith-Sondy had recently invested in a new Volvo P7110 tracked paver from Penn Jersey Machinery, a Volvo dealer located in Frenchtown, NJ, that was used on the Morristown Airport project.

runway paver

Morristown Municipal Airport, centrally located in northern New Jersey, is a public reliever airport designed to provide relief or additional capacity to an area when the primary commercial airport reaches capacity. Owned by the municipality of Morristown, it sits three miles east of downtown in the Whippany section of Hanover Township.

On average, the Morristown Municipal Airport has over 72,000 aircraft operations per year, or about 198 per day. It covers 625 acres and has two asphalt runways: 5/23 is 6,000 feet long by 150 feet wide while 13/31 is 4,000 feet long by 150 wide.

Recently, Runway 5/23 needed some attention. The airport needed to rehabilitate the center 50-foot-wide keel of its pavement.

To match available funding, the project is being completed over several years. “This is the second year – Phase 2 – which includes 1,200 feet of the runway’s 6,000-foot length,” says David Jones with Delta Airport Consultants.

Because the runway was carrying heavier loads than it was initially designed for, the pavement was severely cracked due to both wear and age. The centerline crown was fractured and failing, says Jones.

“The goal of the project is to rehabilitate the keel by removing and replacing the previous two overlay lifts that exhibited signs of excessive voids and aggregate cracking, and restore the center 18-inch crown which had fractured and was settling excessively,” he says.

Project details
Smith-Sondy Asphalt Construction Company, Wallington, NJ, was chosen to tackle the runway rehab in early August of this year. Established in 1946, Smith-Sondy is a high-volume paving contractor responsible for road reconstruction, bridge-deck repairs and paving throughout northern New Jersey and sections of New York. The company is a member of the National Asphalt Paving Association, National Utility & Transportation Contractors’ Association, and the New Jersey Asphalt Paving Association.

“Most of our work is here in northern New Jersey,” says company president Joseph C. Smith, whose father founded the paving company with Joseph Sondy. “We’ve always had an excellent reputation as a residential and commercial paving contractor and we have passed that reputation on to the municipal and state markets as well.”

Riverview Milling was the subcontractor working under Smith-Sondy to complete the milling portion of the project, which included milling a 9-inch depth with 1-foot edge steps and 5- to 15-foot steps at the end of every 3 inches of thickness for transitioning into existing pavement.

Other details of the project included repairing any cracks as required, placing an asphalt overlay fabric, placing three 3-inch lifts of asphalt, providing temporary marking, grooving the pavement after 30 days of cure, and creating final markings with glass beads.

According to Jack Meyer, project superintendent for Smith-Sondy, 3,500 tons of asphalt was laid for Phase 2 of Runway 5/23’s rehab. The specification required an FAA P-401 SP Superpave mix, supplied by Tilcon, with a total thickness of 9 inches, laid in three 3-inch lifts.

"This runway was wavy," says Meyer. "A lot planes didn't like to use it because it was bumpy."

A fabric underlayment was also installed to help prevent reflective cracking coming up through the new asphalt.

Smooth moves from the new paver

Smith-Sondy had recently invested in a new Volvo P7110 tracked paver from Penn Jersey Machinery, a Volvo dealer located in Frenchtown, NJ, that was used on the Morristown Airport project.

Morristown Municipal Airport, centrally located in northern New Jersey, is a public reliever airport designed to provide relief or additional capacity to an area when the primary commercial airport reaches capacity. Owned by the municipality of Morristown, it sits three miles east of downtown in the Whippany section of Hanover Township.

On average, the Morristown Municipal Airport has over 72,000 aircraft operations per year, or about 198 per day. It covers 625 acres and has two asphalt runways: 5/23 is 6,000 feet long by 150 feet wide while 13/31 is 4,000 feet long by 150 wide.

Recently, Runway 5/23 needed some attention. The airport needed to rehabilitate the center 50-foot-wide keel of its pavement.

To match available funding, the project is being completed over several years. “This is the second year – Phase 2 – which includes 1,200 feet of the runway’s 6,000-foot length,” says David Jones with Delta Airport Consultants.

Because the runway was carrying heavier loads than it was initially designed for, the pavement was severely cracked due to both wear and age. The centerline crown was fractured and failing, says Jones.

“The goal of the project is to rehabilitate the keel by removing and replacing the previous two overlay lifts that exhibited signs of excessive voids and aggregate cracking, and restore the center 18-inch crown which had fractured and was settling excessively,” he says.

Project details

Smith-Sondy Asphalt Construction Company, Wallington, NJ, was chosen to tackle the runway rehab in early August of this year. Established in 1946, Smith-Sondy is a high-volume paving contractor responsible for road reconstruction, bridge-deck repairs and paving throughout northern New Jersey and sections of New York. The company is a member of the National Asphalt Paving Association, National Utility & Transportation Contractors’ Association, and the New Jersey Asphalt Paving Association.

“Most of our work is here in northern New Jersey,” says company president Joseph C. Smith, whose father founded the paving company with Joseph Sondy. “We’ve always had an excellent reputation as a residential and commercial paving contractor and we have passed that reputation on to the municipal and state markets as well.”

Riverview Milling was the subcontractor working under Smith-Sondy to complete the milling portion of the project, which included milling a 9-inch depth with 1-foot edge steps and 5- to 15-foot steps at the end of every 3 inches of thickness for transitioning into existing pavement.

Other details of the project included repairing any cracks as required, placing an asphalt overlay fabric, placing three 3-inch lifts of asphalt, providing temporary marking, grooving the pavement after 30 days of cure, and creating final markings with glass beads.

According to Jack Meyer, project superintendent for Smith-Sondy, 3,500 tons of asphalt was laid for Phase 2 of Runway 5/23’s rehab. The specification required an FAA P-401 SP Superpave mix, supplied by Tilcon, with a total thickness of 9 inches, laid in three 3-inch lifts.

"This runway was wavy," says Meyer. "A lot planes didn't like to use it because it was bumpy."

A fabric underlayment was also installed to help prevent reflective cracking coming up through the new asphalt.

Overcoming challenges
One of the challenges of repairing the wavy runway could have been an uncooperative Mother Nature. Weather delays would have wreaked havoc on the schedule, says Meyer, but they actually finished early.

 “We had a 13-day window in which we were allowed to work any time we wanted,” he says. “Liquidated damages on the project were substantial, so no time could be wasted. We took advantage of the good weather and worked longer days and finished four days ahead of schedule.”

Meyer credits a well-coordinated team effort and well-running equipment for overcoming any challenges and successfully rehabbing Runway 5/23. “Mel Oxenreider was an integral part of the project, assisting in the coordination efforts,” adds Meyer. They worked closely with not only the survey crew to constantly monitor grades, but all of the many components of this project to ensure a quality product.

Meyer was excited with the P7110’s performance on this job. “We chose this paver based on our past 35 years of experience with Blaw-Knox equipment,” he says. “Volvo has embraced the Blaw-Knox paver and upgraded the machine to today’s standards while keeping the basic systems intact.”

This article originally appeared in the October 2014 issue of Asphalt Contractor.

Runway Rehab with Volvo Paver

On average, the Morristown Municipal Airport has over 72,000 aircraft operations per year, or about 198 per day. When a 50-foot wide keel of runway 5/23 needed repaired, Smith-Sondy Asphalt Construction Company, Wallington, NJ, was chosen to tackle the runway rehab in early August of this year using a new Volvo P7110 paver.