Designing a better airport, one taxiway at a time
Neel-Schaffer provided engineering design, bidding, and construction administration and inspection services for all phases of Taxiway J construction at the Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport in Gulfport, MS.
Taxiway J serves the southwest side of the GPT airfield. It is a full-length parallel taxiway to GPT’s main runway, Runway 14-32. Phase I of this project consisted of 2,400 LF of 75-foot wide taxiway and 4,800 LF of a 22-foot wide perimeter road. Phase I was designed in 2010 and construction was complete in 2012. Construction was completed on time and within budget.
An extension of GPT’s secondary runway, Runway 18/36 was also designed in conjunction with Taxiway J, Phase I, but was not built because of budgetary constraints.
Neel-Schaffer completed the design and accepted bids for Taxiway J Phase II and Taxiway J South in 2011. Construction for each of these portions of the taxiway began in 2012, and it was completed in 2015. This project consisted of 5,250 LF of 75-foot wide taxiway and 1,600 LF of 22-foot wide perimeter road. Total cost for this project was $11.3 million.
The project was designed with a main asphalt section outside of the Runway Safety Area, with an additive alternate for a concrete section. This allowed for GPT to construct the most cost-effective taxiway possible. After a life-cycle cost analysis, the asphalt section was awarded. The taxiway section inside the Runway Safety Area was designed as a concrete section due to the constraints of working within this sensitive area. Construction of the concrete section was completed at night, with the runway reopening each morning for normal operation. This required close coordination with Gulfport-Biloxi Airport Authority staff, airport operations, airport tenants, the Air National Guard, the FAA and the local FBO, Million-Air, to make sure that construction was completed in a safe manner while minimizing impacts to all stakeholders. Construction within the Runway Safety Area was limited to 60 nights for each of the north and south ends. We are proud to say that during this construction, no flights were delayed or canceled due to construction activities.
The perimeter road portion of this work was a relocation of an existing roadway that was in use throughout the contract period. Neel-Schaffer was able to phase both the roadwork and associated drainage improvements so that access to the perimeter road was not lost during construction.
Additional design features included the construction of a detention pond and outfall ditch, a 20-foot concrete ditch, and improvements to existing drainage ditches on site.