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Remedial work being done to correct weak areas of AIA runway

Remedial work being done to correct weak areas of AIA runway


Remedial work being carried on certain areas of the runway at the Argyle International Airport (AIA) should be completed by this weekend and in no way affects plans to open the facility on February 14.

Yesterday morning, Minister of Transport and Works Julian Francis dispelled rumours that the AIA’s runway was problematic and explained that repair work currently being done on a section of the runway is aimed at correcting some issues with the wearing course.

The wearing course is the upper layer in a roadway, airfield or dockyard and according to Francis, when the wearing course was undergoing grooving (making grooves in the surface to reduce wet weather skidding), the engineers realized that some areas were a bit weak and it may not have lasted as long as they wanted it to.

“It would have worked, but we decided to fix it now before we opened. So, all the areas that we identified, we brought in a specialist who looked at it and we are taking out about two inches,” said Francis, who noted that only about 7,800 square metres are affected, of the just under 204,000 square metres of paved runway (3.8 per cent).

Francis said that the problem with the wearing course at that particular part of the runway was as a result of a particular load of material and the lab was able to identify all the parts where that particular material was used.

“After the weak bit on the wearing course was discovered, they went back to the lab and the lab identified where the particular material that paved that part came from.

All the areas where we used that material we are resurfacing,” said Francis, who revealed they had to source material from difference places during the paving process.

He said that they are digging down about two inches on the parts affected and repaving and this will take about four days to complete.

“…You can see this is a small area of the runway… there is nothing wrong with the base; this is just the surface, the wearing course,” stressed Francis, who noted that Dipcon Engineering is doing the resurfacing.

Francis said that he had spoken about the wearing course issue on a radio programme a few weeks ago, when he indicated that there was a problem, but persons took aerial photographs and spoke on the issue without getting the facts.

“You have to get facts before you speak. There is nothing wrong with the runway; we [are] just replacing the suspect areas that would have come up for repairs sooner or later and we thought we would take advantage of it now that we haven’t open yet and repair the area.

“People always talking; everybody is a specialist,” said Francis smiling.