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Telluride Regional Airport Safety Improvements

Telluride, Colorado



Telluride Regional Airport Authority, Federal Aviation Administration


Kimley-Horn & Associates, Terracon


R.E. Monks Construction Company


May 2009

The Telluride Regional Airport has completed Phase II of four phases of a runway safety improvement program that consists of levelling the runway, widening the runway safety areas, installing Engineered Material Arresting Systems (EMAS), extending the take-off length to 7,070 feet and adding an airport maintenance vehicle underpass beneath the runway. The Telluride Regional Airport Authority (TRAA) - with grants from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Colorado Division of Aeronautics - are funding the project.

“Once all phases are complete, the new runway will provide a much safer take-off and landing environment” said Richard Nuttall, Airport Manager. “The reduced runway grade, wider safety areas and EMAS will greatly increase the runway safety for all aircraft. The maintenance vehicle tunnel will also be a great safety enhancement for accessing the south side of the Airport”

Kimley-Horn & Associates worked with Terracon and the TRAA to find a structural plate product for the airport maintenance vehicle underpass that would allow for continued flow of maintenance vehicles below grade, eliminating conflicts with aircraft. There was a narrow window for construction due to heavy aircraft traffic and high elevation and a cost effective underpass structure with a fast installation time was essential.

A MULTI-PLATE® structure from Contech was chosen for the tunnel because it provided the strength, durability and construction speed needed versus a conventional bridge or customized cast-in-place structure. R.E. Monks Construction Company installed 660 linear feet of MULTI-PLATE while Plate Erectors assembled the plate structure. A shape control technician was onsite to monitor the structure until minimum backfill cover was obtained.

The plan reconfigures the layout for the Airport, better utilizing the existing land area while maintaining the scenic open space that surrounds the facility. These improvements will allow for larger regional commuter aircraft to land at the airport, bringing larger passenger loads, thus increasing the number of visiting tourists. The remaining project phases have been scheduled for completion by November 2012.


Technical Description:

  • Span: 23 ft
  • Rise: 19 ft
  • Length: 660 ft
  • Product: MULTI-PLATE®

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