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Innovative solution reduces cost of runway repair

The 412th Civil Engineer Group completed repairs to Edwards Air Force Base’s North Base runway in February. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kenji Thuloweit)

The 412th Civil Engineer Group completed repairs to Edwards Air Force Base’s North Base runway in February. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kenji Thuloweit)

Edwards Air Force Base’s North Base runway under repair in September 2018. (Courtesy photo)

Edwards Air Force Base’s North Base runway under repair in September 2018. (Courtesy photo)

EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --

After years of heating up in the summer and freezing in the winter, the North Base runway developed severe cracking and was closed in October 2016. 

Traditional repair methods such as sealing the cracks would only last a few months and full replacement would have cost $20 million. The 412th Civil Engineer Group, 412th Operations Support Squadron, Air Force Civil Engineer Center and Army Corps of Engineers airfield paving experts developed an innovative solution to repair the cracks for $1.5M. 

Old pavement and new pavement contract and expand at different rates, according to base civil engineers. To allow better cohesion between both pavements, they maximized the contact surface by removing the asphalt in a T shape rather than the traditional I shape.

AFCEC funded the project late in fiscal year 2018 and the runway opened Feb. 20, 2019.