Project Details

Virgil I. Grissom Municipal Airport

Bedford, IN


This project involved the rehabilitation of primary Runway 13-31. During design, existing subgrade soils were found to be in poor condition due to improper drainage. Additionally, they provided very little strength to the pavement section.

Because of these conditions, Woolpert installed under-drains to alleviate high moisture under the pavement prior to performing pavement rehabilitation. This solidified the base and resulted in much less subgrade repair once it was opened up for full-scale construction operations.

Cost-saving Pavement Design

Existing pavement sections were found to be insufficient for the type of aircraft operating at the airport. In order to provide a pavement design that would hold up under the aircraft, the pavement should have required full-depth reconstruction. However, Woolpert worked closely with the American Concrete Pavement Association to develop a full-depth-type solution that allowed the airport to utilize a most of the existing in-situ materials. This substantially lowered costs by eliminating the need to place and compact new aggregate for the subbasse.

Improved Runway Strength

Woolpert called for an 8-inch, unbonded concrete overlay. This required 3 inches of milling with an 8-inch overlay of Portland cement concrete pavement. No bonding material was placed so that the concrete can act independently of the material left in place. This improved the strength of the runway and allowed the sponsor to report much greater bearing capacities for single-wheel and dual-wheel loading conditions.

Completed Ahead of Schedule

This project was finished one year prior to when it was programmed—and even before the INDOT Pavement Condition Index report suggested the need for repair—thanks to Woolpert’s in-depth justification, which stated the immediate need for improvement due to a rapid rate of deterioration. This allowed the sponsor to pursue other airfield initiatives earlier than anticipated.