Memphis International Airport is a world-class facility serving more than 10 million passengers a year. It is the only airport in North America considered to be an “aerotropolis,” in which a city grows around the airport, connecting workers, suppliers, executives and goods to the global marketplace. FedEx Express (FedEx) was founded at Memphis International Airport in 1973 in order to help facilitate domestic and global trade and the company built a World Hub sorting facility and administration building on the airfield.
The FedEx Memphis World Hub has made the Memphis International Airport the second busiest cargo airport in the world, as it connects customers to more than 220 countries and territories on six continents. It encompasses a 500-acre area and includes parking slots for 175 aircraft and 42 miles of conveyor belts. With over 4,000 employees during the day and 8,000 at night, the facility keeps Memphis and FedEx connected to any point on the globe. The Memphis Hub supports the largest air cargo fleet in the world and handles about 3.3 million packages per day.
FedEx worked with Allen & Hoshall, Inc. on construction of a two-story canopy for international sorting operations and needed to find a drainage collection system to remove sheet flow from the construction area. Allen & Hoshall, Inc. has provided design and construction phase services for airside and landside projects at Memphis International Airport since 1960.
“The new canopy was to be constructed in a space between a nearly identical canopy and another FedEx operations building,” said James Simpson, Jr., PE, CPESC, Associate Principal with Allen & Hoshall, Inc. “We were to minimize impacts on ongoing FedEx operations in the vicinity. This dictated some elements of the design and construction, including the choice to install the drain product with minimal disturbance to the existing concrete.”
Slotted Drain™ pipe from Contech was chosen for the solution. Slotted Drain is fabricated from Contech Corrugated Steel Pipe, which is cut along a longitudinal axis. A trapezoidal or straight-sided grate with reinforcing spacer plates is welded in place to form a 1 3/4-in. -wide slot opening which collects runoff and channels it to the pipe below. Slotted Drain was chosen because it provided a versatile and cost-effective surface water removal solution.
“Logistics and schedule sensitivity have been paramount requirements to achieve the success that FedEx expects and Frierson plans to deliver,” said Ben Eberle, Pre Construction Manager with T.W. Frierson Contractor, Inc. “The Slotted Drain water collector system had to be installed below the existing concrete pavement and required demolition to allow for the install. TWF opted to selfperform this installation and entered into a partnership with Contech to provide the engineering and material required to complete the functional system.”
T.W. Frierson Contractor, Inc. installed 127 feet of 12-inch diameter 2-2/3 x ½, 188 feet of 15-in. diameter, 177 feet of 18-inch diameter and 238-ft. of 24-in. diameter variable height, aluminized Slotted Drain in approximately three weeks.
“We would not have been able to successfully deliver this scope of work without Contech’s in-depth understanding of the system and attention to detail, schedule and cost,” said Eberle.