Sky Harbor Salt River Bank Extension and Runway Safety Area
Features & Highlights
- Major drainage improvements and earthwork at Sky Harbor International Airport
- Project spanned nearly a mile and included 400,000-cubic-yards of excavation, 40,000-cubic-yards of soil cement and 4,100-linear-feet of stabilized low-flow channel
- Clear communication with all stakeholders, especially hand-off from engineering to operations
Our project at Sky Harbor Airport extended the Runway Safety Area (RSA) on the east end of Runway 7R/25L. The work consisted of relocating and modifying the existing cement-stabilized alluvium (CSA) bank protection of the north bank of the Salt River. Other elements included channel modifications to the Salt River, relocation of the existing FAA navigational aid equipment and access road, and a new airport perimeter road and security fence. The embankment construction ultimately allowed for an extension of the RSA area and for the runway to become FAA-compliant.
Sundt teamed up with the City of Phoenix, FAA, Flood Control District of Maricopa County and other stakeholders to complete this challenging project on an active airfield. Anticipating a large amount of construction traffic on the secured air-side property, Sundt proposed relocating a security fence and adding a temporary gate. This solution converted 90% of the project area to a land-side designation, reducing the time and cost associated with air-side equipment and vehicle compliance.
We also utilized several sustainability and value-engineering measures to save time and costs, including our use of the site’s existing stockpiled soil as import fill as well as our batching of CLSM on site rather than purchasing from a commercial source. The project also used native river soil exported as aggregates for the CSA, and runoff water from Tempe Town Lake as construction water. Furthermore, the existing airport asphalt perimeter road (which needed to be removed) was milled and stockpiled, and then repurposed as stabilization for the FAA access road. Altogether, we saved the client 5% of their original budget.