R.W. Tomlinson Limited Lands
The Macdonald-Cartier International Airport has completed a major rebuild of Runway 07-25. A stringent three-part selection process was utilized by the Ottawa International Airport Authority to select a contractor.
This process consisted of work experience, construction planning specific to this project, and a financial component. Tomlinson received high marks for all three components and was awarded the contract for the Rehabilitation of Runway 07-25. Work started on June 1, 2012 and the contract work was completed in a seven-week period ending on July 20th, 2012. The workers constructed 110,000m2 of grinding, 150,000m2 of pulverizing and grading, the addition of 50,000 tonnes of Granular "A", 75,000 tonnes of Hot Mix Asphalt, and contour modifications to 400,000m2 of the airport infield. All of this work was completed one-week ahead of schedule.
Pierre Robert was the project manager on this project but it was a classic case of a team working together to achieve unbelievable results. Robert had his city crews along with assistance from Russ Perry and his Highway Division crews. The asphalt was supplied from three plants: Moodie Drive, Rideau Road, and the Portable asphalt plant which was set up on site.
Working airside at an International Airport adjacent to a live runway and taxiways introduces a number of unique challenges and safety concerns. Robert, who has managed on-site projects at the airport since the 1980's, provided orientation to all employees and sub contractors. Specific policies were developed to ensure knowledge of the site and a safe environment for the workers.
Robert points out the dangers of a single forgotten coffee cup. "A foreign object airside can be taken in by a jet engine and could lead to engine failure," he said. "Also, particular to the airport is the imminent danger of lightening. There is a system in place originally designed for baggage handlers and all workers on the ground that warns workers of possible lightning strikes," he added.
There were 125 employees working on the project at any one time. "Ten crews including sub-contractors working between 12 and 14-hour days including weekends, and two-weeks of night work, except Father's Day," Robert admitted. The contract also called for the reshaping of the ends of the runway known as the "R.E.S.A." (Runway End Safety Area). These runway ends required 90,000 square meters of re-grading, top soil and hydro seeding to meet Transport Canada's standards.