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Rehabilitating an Operational Military Runway Requires Efficiency and Teamwork

Runway embedded approach lighting at NAS Lemoore.

Naval Air Station Lemoore (NAS Lemoore), located in California’s Central Valley, serves as a critical west coast training facility for U.S. Navy fighter pilots throughout the year. NAS Lemoore is one the Navy’s largest and most active airfields. With five carrier air wings containing 20 flight squadrons that use the base for training and repairs, the 13,500-foot-long air station runway is in operation 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Replacement of existing aging jets with new ones required increased pilot and crew training, which added to the traffic and use of the station’s runway. As a result, work on the rehabilitation of the runway’s field carrier landing practice (FCLP) box had to be completed quickly, efficiently, and with as little disruption as possible to existing operations.

The project required pavement rehabilitation of 1,000 linear feet of the runway and pavement marking upgrades. The rehabilitation included installation of new LED airfield lighting on the FCLP box, along with an upgrade to the existing Category 3 precision approach lighting—embedded lighting in the runway pavement that helps planes navigate their landing.

To install these improvements and to accommodate ongoing operations at all times, the BergerABAM team used an integrated, multidisciplinary approach. Ninety-five percent of the work was performed in house, which included electrical and mechanical, as well as civil and structural engineering, while the geotechnical, environmental, and surveying work was outsourced to subcontractors.

With military jets using the runway at all hours, the existing runway threshold had to be moved 4,680 feet at one end to accommodate the jets at the opposite end of the runway. This relocation also required an airspace study in order to identify any obstructions to aircraft operations. Designed so that the runway rehabilitation could be constructed during the winter dry season, construction and concrete work are slated to be finished six months after award of the contract.