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A $256 million project to reconstruct Runway 3L/21R at Detroit Metropolitan Airport’s (DTW) and its associated taxiways is to begin on April 1. 

The 8,500-foot primary departure runway is located on the eastern portion of the airfield and its redevelopent costs will be funded with FAA Airport Improvement Program funds and airport revenue bonds.

The construction project is expected to be one of the largest in Michigan and will be followed by the reconstruction of associated Taxiway P and a new connector taxiway in 2020.

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.

“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.”

Late last year, the FAA approved the environmental review of the reconstruction project. The analysis showed there are no significant environmental effects or extraordinary circumstances associated with this project.

“We will incorporate environmentally sustainable practices into this project, as we have in the past,” said deputy director of airfield facilities, Theresa Samosiuk, who is also the project manager.

“We will be excavating 750,000 cubic yards of soil, as well as recycling the existing concrete. All excess soil and recycled concrete will remain onsite, diverting it from landfills and reducing truck emissions.”

3L/21R is the fourth and final primary runway to be reconstructed in the last ten years.

he runway will only be closed for the 2019 construction season. The entire project is scheduled to be complete in November 2020. Ajax Paving Industries, Inc is the prime contractor.


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