Watch The Video: Landing at the Eureka Nevada Airport
The awards are adding up for this groundbreaking project. In August 2013 we received the American Public Works Association (APWA) Transportation Project of the Year Award. In November 2013 we received the Engineering News-Record (ENR) award. What is next? We say more great projects like this one!
Eureka County’s short construction season forces some aggressive schedules on their engineers and contractors. The County’s demand for quality and accuracy requires everyone involved to be operating at the highest level. However, last summer brought a project whose schedule was so aggressive that it demanded an extraordinary effort from all involved.
Utilizing a grant from the FAA, the County set forth on a project, designed and bid by Lumos, to re-construct/re-profile the full runway, apron, and approach taxiways of the County Airport. All work activities had to be started after Memorial Day weekend and completed before the start of the wildfire season. In other words, the County gave Lumos 21 days to construct the $3.23 million project
Eureka County owns and operates the county airport located in Diamond Valley, about 7 miles north of the Town of Eureka, Nevada. The airport serves as a transportation link for the remote county by regularly receiving mining executives, refueling stops by aircraft passing through, and support for air operations for the local ranches. However, its most important function is serving MedFLIGHT and supporting air attack crews battling local wildfires. It is these last two that drove the requirement for minimizing the airport closure. Even with the closure, the airport construction operations were on constant alert for the potential of incoming aircraft. The readiness paid off because through the team’s preparation and constant communication, the closed airport was fully operable is less than five minutes of an incoming emergency call. In addition to two medical emergencies, the town of Eureka was also threatened by a nearby wildfire. The 2,800 acre Pinto Fire required multiple air attack operations with two type II helicopter crews and one fixed wing air command; all of which required multiple fuel cycles, staging of aircraft, and housing of crews at the airport during active construction operations.
This project included reconstruction of Runway 18/36, a 7,300 foot long by 60 foot wide ribbon of asphalt, connecting taxiways, and 73,500 square foot of apron. Construction specifications included pulverization of existing improvements, 7% cement treatment, and all covered with 3″ of FAA specification asphalt. The project progressed with pre-demolition and demolition operations taking place on one end of the runway, as the continuation of Cement Treated Base (CTB) and paving operations took place on the other. Pulverization and CTB operations of the runway allowed for nearly 100,000 square feet of demolition and prepared runway sub structure per day. Such vast quantities were accomplished by the utilization of three pulverization/CTB crews, two grade setting and grading crews.
In addition to providing the project design and bidding services, Lumos was also contracted by Eureka County Public Works, headed by Ronald Damele, to manage the construction phase of the project. The Lumos team consisted of Thomas Young, P.E. (Project Manager), Michael Bennett, P.E. (Construction Manager), Mitch Burns, P.E. (Geotechnical Engineer);Greg Phillips, PLS (Survey Manager). The construction contractor was Road and Highway Builders (RHB) and their key project leaders were Steve Blakely (Vice President) and Clint Madsen (Superintendent).
With constant oversight by key Lumos and RHB staff, construction operations ran like clockwork. With an average daily cost of approximately $150,000 and nearly 70 personnel working at the peak of the project, the final striping was applied and dry twelve hours prior to the required opening. In the end, RHB moved nearly 20,000 cubic yards of earth, mixed 1,400 tons of cement, placed 11,000 tons of asphalt, and hauled half a million gallons of construction water. As planned, the Eureka County Airport was opened on time, with zero safety incidents, zero change orders, and within budget!