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Rehabilitation projects begin at airport

Submitted by Fred Ogden

Photos courtesy of Fred Ogden

Mena Intermountain Aiport’s Runway 17/35 is being rehabilitated, with pavement rehabilitation work began today in last week.  The “Full Depth Reclamation process” (FDR) will be utilized on this project.

The first step of the FDR process is to grind the old asphalt and base, mix in some cement and water with the ground-up material and lay it back onto the ground. That’s what the equipment in the picture is doing.  Then, this mixture will be spread and compacted so that the surface is about the same elevation as the old base. Later, after the entire runway has undergone the FDR and some prep work on the surface of the new base is done, new asphalt will be laid.

The FDR process is scheduled to take a little over a week. Then, some other processes to get the surface ready for the asphalt are performed.  Finally, asphalt will be laid, new markings installed and some work on the runway shoulders will be done. The entire project is scheduled to take 60 days, or until late November.

During this time, Runway 17/35 will be closed.  To maintain access to the west side of the airport, the midfield connector will remain open and will be the last part to be paved. By then, other taxiway connectors will be open.

Except for the midfield connector, the entire runway will undergo the FDR process. The connector will be repaved using another process. The south end of the runway will be the first section to be paved after the FDR is complete. Once that’s done, the ILS will be turned back on. Right now, the best estimate is that the ILS may be operational again sometime around late October to early November

Taxiway B

On another note, the new Taxiway B is open. Punch list items are being addressed and some drainage work around midfield in front of Crider’s paint shop is being performed. (This will entail closing a portion of Taxiway D tomorrow through Wednesday. More on that soon,) The relocation of the Runway 09 PAPI is probably not going to be completed until after the first of the year due to FAA travel restrictions related to COVID-19.

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