Keeping airports running with high-performance pavements
Modern airports of all sizes face a variety of challenges, changing expectations, and requirements from passengers. Meeting these needs has required responsive changes in strategy, investment, and technology. One facet that is often overlooked is the acres of pavements each airport must maintain to ensure uninterrupted operations.
With so many challenges, airport owners and operators often find themselves in a never-ending maintenance and reconstruction process. Compounding the issue, the most frequently used pavements, like taxiways and runways, often need the most work. And when pavements have been constructed over very soft ground, an even greater challenge is created for long-term performance.
Tensar geogrids can strengthen weak subgrades and control differential settlement, creating a mechanically stabilized layer which is able to cope with the intense loads from aircraft movements. This construction design reduces the aggregate needed while extending service life to produce the potential for significant time, cost, and environmental benefits.
Airport owners and operators choose Tensar geogrid to improve the performance of pavement by minimizing aggregate movement within the pavement section and improving and maintaining stiffness. By creating a stiffer aggregate layer, pavements can be designed to deliver the same or better performance to fit budgets and loading requirements.
Conventional pavement maintenance strategies specify placing an asphalt overlay over the existing rigid or flexible pavement. For each inch of applied overlay, existing cracks are generally deterred from reflecting to the surface by one year. Although some additional service life is gained, it’s only a temporary fix. Hot-mix asphalt (HMA) pavement reinforcement, like Tensar’s GlasGrid® system and GlasPave® paving mats, adds tensile strength to the pavements and is proven to dramatically increase the life of overlays.
Pavement performance relies on what’s below the surface. Frequent heavy aircraft and vehicular traffic loading can cause accelerated deformation and rutting of an unstabilized section, both to the base layer and the subgrade. Tensar geogrids can improve the long-term performance of paved airport surfaces by minimizing aggregate movement and maintaining modulus values.
Walls & Slopes
Since not all airports are built on level flat land, retaining wall or slope reinforcement solutions may be necessary, especially for airports in mountainous terrains or marine areas. Conventional solutions, including cast-in-place concrete walls and sunken pilings, can be costly, difficult to stage, time-consuming, and labor-intensive. With complete systems featuring our uniaxial geogrid, Tensar’s single-source grade separation solutions offer the cost advantages of a mechanically stabilized earth (MSE) retaining wall without the consequences of complex wall systems from multiple vendors.