Project Details

Columbus Municipal Airport

Columbus, IN


Airport personnel, INDOT and the FAA identified serious pavement distresses, including cracking of the asphalt material, heaving in excess of three inches and water seeping through the runway surface from underlying de-bonded asphalt layers on Runway 14-32 at Columbus Municipal Airport. Woolpert was selected to provide design analysis, design/bid documents and construction services for the rehabilitation project.

Pavement Analysis

Woolpert teamed with INDOT to perform non-destructive testing of the existing runway to analyze pavement structure, sub-base and sub-grade strengths. Woolpert determined that the de-bonding of asphalt layers created all of the surface-related cracking and heaving.

In addition, Woolpert found that the WWII-era, 8-inch concrete sub-base layer was in good, stiff condition. Woolpert recommended removing the existing asphalt layers to expose the underlying WWII-era concrete and to then overlay with concrete.

Sustainable Pavement Reuse

Shifting the project approach from traditional reconstruction to rehabilitation by utilizing the sub-base allowed for significant cost savings, decreased operational impact and decreased construction time.

Woolpert examined both asphalt and concrete material to overlay the existing concrete sub-base. Due to the type of military and transient jet traffic that used the runway, Woolpert recommended a concrete overlay, which increased overall runway strength.

Construction (Phasing)

This project was completed in three phases and consisted of two Airport Improvement Program (AIP) grants.

The critical phase was at the intersection of Runway 5-23 and Runway 14-32 and consisted of thorough communication with the airport and primary business users to minimize operational impacts to the airport. This phase of work consisted of milling, under-drains, surface preparation, concrete placement and curing. It was completed in three nights and four days. Both grants were completed approximately $100,000 under budget, and construction was completed 30 days ahead of schedule.