Problems with the center runway at Charlotte Douglas International Airport are forcing the airport to spend more than $288,000 on repairs, less than two years after the runway was reopened after extensive repairs.
Aviation director Jerry Orr said Thursday that the repairs won’t necessitate closing the runway. In 2011, the runway was closed for 70 days while Hi-Way Paving replaced much of the concrete.
The airport paid about $26 million for the work, three-quarters of which is eligible for federal reimbursement. But Orr said joints between the old concrete and the new are failing, producing “spalls,” or chunks of concrete on the runway – a safety hazard.
“That is not what we bought, and obviously not what we want,” said Orr.
At US Airways’ request, the airport paid Hi-Way an additional $2.9 million to finish the work in 70 days instead of 90. The accelerated schedule saved US Airways, the airport’s largest tenant, about $3.3 million.
But Orr said Thursday the current problems with the runway don’t stem from the accelerated construction schedule. The problems are the result of a complicated joint between the old and new concrete, Orr said.
The problem areas will be dug out and re-finished with an epoxy material, Orr said. Crews will work at night to avoid disrupting flight operations.
The airport elected to hire the engineering firm W.K. Dickson & Co., which did design work for the last runway repair project, to complete the latest repairs.
The $288,000 is the unspent portion of Hi-Way’s original contract. The project had originally come in under budget. The airport will use that remaining money, provided by airport revenue bonds, to pay W.K. Dickson.