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Detroit Metropolitan Airport Runway Replacement

Kimley-Horn provided engineering and construction phase services for the reconstruction of Runway 3L/21R and associated taxiways at Detroit Metropolitan Airport, which reopened in late 2019. Our work included preliminary design, final design, bid phase services, and construction phase services.

Runway 3L/21R was constructed in 10 phases over two construction seasons with the majority of the project constructed in the first year. Nearly 458,000 square yards of concrete were used, and our team assisted with 1,000,000 cubic yards of unclassified excavation.

During the preliminary design, our aviation team developed two options to mitigate issues with take-offs when multiple runways were in use. The first option was to build a visual screen according to FAA’s AC 150/5300-13. The second option was to build an earthen berm to mask aircraft using the parallel taxiways. After several meetings with WCAA and FAA, it was determined to move forward with option 2. Not only did this option meet the FAA requirements for visual screen but also allowed the use of more than 400,000 CY of unclassified excavation.

Key Project Features

  • Development of reconstruction and rehabilitation alternatives
  • Removal of nonstandard and “hot spots” per current FAA regulations
  • Project phasing
  • Full depth reconstruction of the runway and associated taxiways
  • Reconfiguration and relocation of the 21R de-icing pad
  • Glycol capturing system
  • Airfield electrical including RWSLs and THLs
  • NAVAIDs; visual screen/visual berm
  • AOA security fence and access control improvements
  • New airfield service roads

First Drone Flight

Kimley-Horn successfully coordinated with the FAA and WCAA to achieve all necessary approvals and clearance to fly the first drone at Detroit Metropolitan Airport in the Summer of 2020. Working through the multiple stakeholder approval processes to acquire the airspace rights would not have been possible without the unwavering support of our clients at DTW. One of our many in-house drone pilots captured drone footage to document construction progress during the second and final year of the reconstruction of Runway 3L-21R and Associated Taxiways.

Project Recognition

Related Projects

Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW) Centralized Deicing Facility and Runway 21R Hold Bay

Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD) Centralized Deicing Facility & Crossfield Taxiway System

FDOT Aviation Office Airfield Pavement Management

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) On-Call Aviation Planning Services