November 17, 2020

Kenosha airport project among state’s best

Aerial photo of runways at a regional airport that Michels paved.

Fewer people visited airports in 2020 than most years, but that didn’t mean the need to upgrade our nation’s aeronautical infrastructure subsided. In Kenosha, WI, our crews spearheaded a major airfield construction project, reconstructing and extending the primary runway and taxiway. Even more impressively, the work was completed ahead of schedule, under budget and up to the exacting quality requirements of aviation construction.

The Kenosha Regional Airport Runway Extension and Reconstruction Project won a 2020 Outstanding Airport Construction Award from the Wisconsin Bureau of Aeronautics.

A project of this magnitude requires teamwork, effective communication, and the dedication, flexibility and perseverance of our crew members and partners. Planning for the project started in 2018, 30 years after the 9-inch thick pavement was originally constructed. To minimize the operational and financial impact on the airport and its users, the construction schedule was designed to keep the crosswind runway open for all but 30 consecutive calendar days.

The complex project highlighted Michels ability to manage operations and subcontractors, and to self-perform many aspects of the work. As prime contractor, our crews were responsible for overall project management. In addition, we performed demolition, earthwork, crushing, geotextile fabric, underdrain, subbase, base course, concrete paving, topsoil, finish grading and miscellaneous construction.

To eliminate the need to haul away old concrete and import new material, Michels mobilized a recycle crushing spread to convert the old concrete into custom-sized subgrade material. The initiative reduced the project’s cost and duration.

Michels also used its stringless paving equipment to construct the runways and taxiways in compliance with the project’s tight tolerances. The 100-foot-wide runway was paved in three passes, each of 33 feet in width.

Congratulations to our crews and project leaders for performing high quality work efficiently and safely, including implementing protocols to maintain health during a global pandemic.

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