Bay Runway Project

The Bay Runway project is an investment in the future. The project will upgrade JFK’s airside infrastructure, widen and replace nearly three miles of runway. Once completed, the runway and its new enhancements will reduce overall delays by an estimated 10,500 hours per year.

A central component of the Bay Runway reconstruction is the widening of the runway from 150 to 200 feet as well as new delay-reduction taxiways. These taxiways will include high-speed exits for landing aircraft and holding pads, where departing aircraft can pull off to enable planes to bypass those being held on the tarmac. The new taxiways will enable swifter departures and easier access from taxiways to terminal gates, saving time on the ground for every passenger at JFK.

Beginning on March 1, 2010 the runway closed for construction for 120 days. Given the significance that the closure has on operations at JFK, the Port Authority, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the airlines began planning for this project in 2006. This coordinated effort aims to minimize the impact on airport operations while the runway is closed.

There are four runways at JFK. The red runway featured in this aerial photograph is the Bay Runway. During the 120-day closure of the Bay Runway, all three remaining runways will be utilized to their full capacity.

The project is expected to support 1,000 direct and as many as 1,500 ancillary jobs, including construction positions, asphalt and concrete production, procurement and installation of aeronautical lighting, and food services creating $800 million in wages and economic activity.

Completion of Taxiway KC: Taxiway KC is a critical component of the project since it is the first phase of the runway project where construction activities were completed, it was the test section of the project in which design and construction requirements criteria were met, and will be used as a bypass route for aircrafts utilizing Runway 4L in future phases of the project. Construction of new runway concrete overlay is 18 inches thick which will increase the service life of the runway pavement approximately 40 years compared to an 8-year service life for asphalt pavement.

In preparation of the project an on-site concrete plant was erected. The concrete plant was built on-site at JFK to minimize truck traffic.

The production of concrete on-site helps ensure maximum production per day.

Installation of Concrete Pavement at new Taxiway KC: This machine is called a Slipform. Slipforms move forward and pour concrete simultaneously. These devices are most commonly used in road construction but their design is perfectly suited to the Bay Runway project.

To keep this project on schedule and moving forward power and communication infrastructure were installed entirely at night prior to the runway closing.

The Port Authority in cooperation with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the airlines, expect to minimize the impact on airport operations when the runway is closed. Airlines have agreed to maintain schedules and activity at current levels to assist in mitigating delays.

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