Final Layer of Brisbane Airport’s New Runway Has Commenced

Workers inspecting the new layer of runway pavement
Workers inspecting the new layer of runway pavement

The construction of Brisbane’s new runway (BNR) has reached a critical milestone, with the application of asphalt – the final layer of the runway’s pavement – has commenced today.

Over the next three months, more than 100,000 tonnes of aircraft-grade asphalt will be placed on top of the runway’s 2.5 metres of compacted sand and 600-milimetre layer of fine crushed rock.

Fulton Hogan has been subcontracted by Skyway to produce a specially-designed asphalt on site that allows flexibility, load-spreading capacity, deformation resistance and the ability to withstand aircraft-induced shear stresses and high temperatures.

Paul Coughlan, Project Director, says Brisbane’s new runway is the biggest and most satisfying project he has ever been involved in.

“After nearly 15 years as Project Director, I am just as passionate now as I was when I started thanks to moments like this.

“Asphalt is the final layer of Brisbane’s new runway – the icing on the cake that is an internationally tried and tested runway pavement design.

Equipment being used to add the final layer of runway pavement
Equipment being used to add the final layer of runway pavement

“Given that site preparation and reclamation works for the new runway commenced way back in July 2012, it is incredibly exciting to be reaching a point where the end of construction is now in sight,” Mr Coughlan said.

Graeme Fenemore, Skyway Joint Venture Project Director, said the milestone is representative of the significant progress made to date which has been the culmination of an open and collaborative relationship between Skyway and BAC.

“Together we have implemented innovative engineering solutions while always putting the safety of our workforce first, proudly recording in excess of 2.2 million hours with an outstanding safety record.

“By continuing the momentum we have, I am confident the project will be delivered safely to the satisfaction of the wider community.”

Equipment being used to add the final layer of runway pavement
Equipment being used to add the final layer of runway pavement

Skyway, a joint venture (JV) between BMD Constructions Pty Ltd and CPB Contractors Pty Ltd, was awarded the Airfield Works contract in July 2017, and with around 12 months of construction to go, they have:

  • Airfield conduits and pits 90 per cent complete.
  • Modified fine crushed rock (taxiway pavement base course) 80 per cent complete.
  • Taxiway concrete (final taxiway pavement layer) more than 50 per cent complete.

Following the completion of the construction programme, the detailed commissioning process for the new ground lighting, navigational aids and control tower systems will commence.

Brisbane’s new runway remains on track to be operational in mid-2020.

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