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Oldest runway at Detroit Metro Airport is being reconstructed

Detroit Metro Airport (WDIV)
Detroit Metro Airport (WDIV)

ROMULUS, Mich. – Detroit Metro Airport (DTW) is reoncstructing its oldest runway.

The Wayne County Airport Authority announced Thursday construction will begin April 1 on DTW's Runway 3L/21R and its associated taxiways. It will be shutdown for the entire 2019 construction season. The project is expected to be completed by November 2020.  

The 8,500-foot primary departure runway is located on the eastern portion of the airfield. The $256 million capital improvement project will be funded with FAA Airport Improvement Program funds and airport revenue bonds, according to the airport authority.

"Runway 3L/21R was the first runway constructed at Detroit Metropolitan Airport in the 1950s," said Wayne County Airport Authority CEO Chad Newton. "The runway and taxiways have reached the end of their useful life. This reconstruction effort will ensure our pavement meets current FAA standards, and improve the efficiency of our airfield by reducing departure times. Passengers will see the construction, but flights will not be impacted." 

    The construction project is expected to be one of the largest in Michigan for the next two years. This year, Runway 3L/21R and its parallel Taxiway M will be fully reconstructed. In 2020, associated Taxiway P will be reconstructed along with a new connector taxiway. The new airfield pavement will consist of 17 inches of Portland Cement Concrete. In total, construction crews will place the equivalent of 73 highway lane miles of new concrete pavement.  

Ajax Paving Industries, Inc. is the prime contractor for this runway reconstruction. Runway 3L/21R is fourth and final primary runway to be reconstructed in the  last 10 years.   

Late last year, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved the environmental review of the reconstruction project. The airport authority said the analysis showed there are no significant environmental effects or extraordinary circumstances associated with this project.


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