Located within the heart of the Grand Teton National Park, the Jackson Hole Airport Runway Reconstruction Project was a unique project for multiple reasons. Not only is Jackson Hole Airport the only commercial service airport located with a National Park, but it is also a single-runway airport vital to the surrounding community for transportation. It was imperative that the construction window for this improvement project be as short as possible to minimize the impact to the airport itself as well as to the surrounding community. At the onset, the airport set a tight timeline to ensure it would be open for the busier summer hours.
Initially, the engineering and construction teams collaborated with Contech looking for a surface drain product for their airport runway improvement project. The pavement sections for the airport have to be designed for heavy aircraft loads such as a Boeing 757, which has a takeoff weight of 200,000-250,000 LBS. As a result, the pavement sections have to be thicker and stronger than that of typical highway pavement sections, requiring a surface runoff solution that could withstand the weight of these heavier aircrafts.
The engineers and construction teams were able to sit down with Contech to better understand the project and the product for the solution to ensure that it was exactly what was needed. Contech Slotted Drain was presented as it met the hydraulic, structural and durability needs desired.
There were two things in particular that Slotted Drain offered that made it especially appealing. The first was that it could handle the airport loading as required by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Secondly, with a variety of gage and coating options, the Slotted Drain system was able to meet the longer-term durability that the project required by providing a polymer-coated solution.
One of the key parts of the collaborative effort of all involved included an onsite meeting at the Contech manufacturing facility where the Slotted Drain was to be fabricated. Both the contractor (Knife River) and the engineer of record (Jviation, a Woolpert Company) traveled to the Contech manufacturing facility to go over the exacting standards of quality maintained by the manufacturing team to fabricate the product. The quality program is extremely robust to ensure that the expectations of the project are met and/or exceeded. All parties involved were particularly pleased with the quality and efficiency of the Contech team, guaranteeing that the Slotted Drain system would meet the desired standards of the project.
The runway project included three main phases and consisted of nearly 29,000 LF of Slotted Drain to capture all the surface runoff along the runway, providing an efficient snow removal system during the wintry months. The Slotted Drain system is low maintenance and works very well with the snow removal maintenance equipment, capturing nearly 100% of the runoff from the surrounding surfaces. Jackson Hole Airport wanted to make sure that the solution selected would be efficient and easy to maintain. With the collaborative efforts of all the groups involved, the system was installed very quickly and efficiently, fitting well within the tight timeframe which allowed for the target June 28th reopening of the Jackson Hole Airport, much to the excitement of both the local community as well as the tourists anticipating their upcoming vacation plans.
Stuart Schiff, the Jviation Project Engineer and Construction Manager, commented, “We were looking for a solution that would meet our structural and hydraulic requirements for the Jackson Hole Airport runway reconstruction project. Contech’s Slotted Drain™ system did just that.”