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tmu101
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DFW Runway 17C/35C

Fri Oct 16, 2020 6:49 am

Hi all - just curious if anyone here might know why DFW's Runway 17C/35C was resurfaced using asphalt versus concrete during its last overhaul. I was looking at a recent aerial shot and noticed this. Also the adjoining taxi ways were resurfaced with concrete. Any insight into why the use of the two materials?

My understanding is that concrete is more expensive but much more durable than asphalt? I'd love to hear some insight into the decision making on the material selection for the airside regions.

I guess while I'm at it some other questions come to mind regarding DFW.

Will the other runways get resurfaced with asphalt during their next overhaul?

When will the new northeast perimeter taxiways be completed?

Are the bridge taxiways (i think they are Taxiways A, B, Y, and Z) now reinforced to accommodate an A380 taxiing between the east and west sides of the airfield? Probably not a big deal now with all of the restricted flying these days.

No worries - no questions related to the future Terminal F! ;-)

Thank you all SO MUCH for your insite into these questions.
 
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atcsundevil
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Re: DFW Runway 17C/35C

Fri Oct 16, 2020 1:55 pm

I'll preface this by saying I'm hardly an expert on the subject, and I'm reaching back almost 15 years to recall info from a class I took in college. I'm sure there are other people here who do this stuff for a living and know a heck of a lot more than I do.

I would assume that the runway retained its concrete foundation, but was resurfaced with asphalt. With aging concrete runways, the foundations may still be good, but the panels at the surface are at risk of erosion over time, not just just use, but particularly from moisture. Concrete can be quite challenging to manage as it ages. Concrete is inherently porous, and while waterproofing sealant can be applied depending on its application, moisture can reach the steel reinforcement over time. If that begins to rust, it can cause the concrete to become brittle and flake apart, called concrete cancer. That's irreversible and requires complete replacement of the panel. My understanding is that the most cost and practically effective method of sealing the concrete to extend the life of the foundation is with asphalt.
 
jholio
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Re: DFW Runway 17C/35C

Fri Oct 16, 2020 5:27 pm

Here's an interesting article I found on the subject.

https://www.forconstructionpros.com/asp ... fw-airport

Excerpt:

Factoring in cost and the time constraints associated with paving an airport runway, DFW chose to repave with asphalt which would give the pavement a 30-year life cycle and utilized more than 70% of the underlying layers. The rehabilitation of 17C, which handles 40% of the arrivals at DFW marks the first time the airport has used asphalt instead of concrete as a runway surface.

“Because of the findings under the runway’s surface, we were able to consider a structural asphalt overlay of the existing runway as an alternative to a full concrete replacement,” Brad McMullen, Jacobs project manager says. “Ultimately, this is what the airport chose to meet its future needs.”
 
PSAatSAN4Ever
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Re: DFW Runway 17C/35C

Fri Oct 16, 2020 5:33 pm

What an interesting topic! And what a Pandora's box of technical questions this opens...

Does this mean that asphalt is better for landings?

Does this mean that concrete is better for take-offs?

Would airports like LAX, which is 99% of the time outer-runways-for-landing and inner-runways-for-takeoffs be wise to adapt to this set-up?

How much of a factor is weather in the determination?

Or am I just reading too much into it? It could happen...quarantining has nearly killed my interest in aviation.
 
DEN1895
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Re: DFW Runway 17C/35C

Fri Oct 16, 2020 8:02 pm

atcsundevil wrote:
I'll preface this by saying I'm hardly an expert on the subject, and I'm reaching back almost 15 years to recall info from a class I took in college. I'm sure there are other people here who do this stuff for a living and know a heck of a lot more than I do.

I would assume that the runway retained its concrete foundation, but was resurfaced with asphalt. With aging concrete runways, the foundations may still be good, but the panels at the surface are at risk of erosion over time, not just just use, but particularly from moisture. Concrete can be quite challenging to manage as it ages. Concrete is inherently porous, and while waterproofing sealant can be applied depending on its application, moisture can reach the steel reinforcement over time. If that begins to rust, it can cause the concrete to become brittle and flake apart, called concrete cancer. That's irreversible and requires complete replacement of the panel. My understanding is that the most cost and practically effective method of sealing the concrete to extend the life of the foundation is with asphalt.


Do you know how often asphalt runway need to be repaved compared to concrete? It would be interesting to see how the cost of maintenance over time compares as using asphalt over concrete only saved them $17 million for the runway rehab.
 
FriscoHeavy
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Re: DFW Runway 17C/35C

Fri Oct 16, 2020 9:21 pm

PSAatSAN4Ever wrote:
What an interesting topic! And what a Pandora's box of technical questions this opens...

Does this mean that asphalt is better for landings?

Does this mean that concrete is better for take-offs?

Would airports like LAX, which is 99% of the time outer-runways-for-landing and inner-runways-for-takeoffs be wise to adapt to this set-up?

How much of a factor is weather in the determination?

Or am I just reading too much into it? It could happen...quarantining has nearly killed my interest in aviation.



You've posed very good questions and no, I do not think you are reading too much into it. While I can't say specifically, I'm sure things you have mentioned, along with many other variables are taken into account:

-Typical weather/climate for an area
-Cost to install
-Cost of upkeep/maintenance

Asphalt is smoother, so it may make for a smoother takeoff and landing, but I doubt that plays a roll in the decision making, thought I'd love to be corrected if I'm wrong.

While I have no solid reasoning for it, I'm glad they decided to go with asphalt. **I wish they would do that with streets and freeways around here to make driving around smoother, but alas, that's a different topic.

From my understanding (and again, I could be wrong), I believe they are going asphalt when they rehab one of the 18/36 runways (I forget which one is first).
Whatever
 
FriscoHeavy
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Re: DFW Runway 17C/35C

Fri Oct 16, 2020 9:32 pm

I just watched a youtube video on this and for DFW, it mentioned the following:

"The Asphalt is designed for strength and stability suited for North Texas weather conditions"


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YBqi-Zm ... e=youtu.be

And this I found this little nugget:

At 13,401 feet, Runway 17C/35C handles approximately 40% of arrivals into DFW. The rehabilitation required more than 200,000 hours of labor and 220,000 tons of asphalt, creating DFW’s first asphalt runway and completing the first full runway refurbishment at the Airport since it opened in 1974.

Asphalt was chosen as a durable replacement for concrete using a special mix called PG88/-22, which can withstand temperatures up to 190 degrees Fahrenheit. The special mix is approved by the FAA and underwent rigorous quality controls during the construction process, with testing conducted at every 2,000 tons during production.

“DFW took every step possible to reduce the construction time and return the air traffic patterns to normal as quickly as possible,” said Chad Makovsky, executive vice president of Operations. “We thank the FAA and our surrounding communities for working with us to find innovative solutions to keep the airfield operating at full capacity over the last several months.”

Detailed FAA inspections will take place over the next two weeks, preparing the runway for its first arrival. The runway includes enhanced LED lighting and pavement markings. The project was funded through $80 million in FAA grants.
Whatever
 
TXRoadMan
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Re: DFW Runway 17C/35C

Fri Oct 16, 2020 9:57 pm

FriscoHeavy wrote:
From my understanding (and again, I could be wrong), I believe they are going asphalt when they rehab one of the 18/36 runways (I forget which one is first).

According to this, it's 18R/36L, and you are correct that it will be asphalt. That graphic says that construction should have started by now, and the runway is currently NOTAM'd closed, so they must be working on it.

https://dfw.noiselab.casper.aero/upload ... 0Sheet.pdf
 
Sooner787
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Re: DFW Runway 17C/35C

Fri Oct 16, 2020 9:59 pm

I know DFW is rebuilding runway 18R / 36L right now, I assume it's also getting
the new asphalt ?

As for your question about the taxiway bridges and A380's , I think DFW decided upgrades weren't needed
since the A380 gate is in Terminal D and QF7 / 8 arrived from the west, so they always used the west runways :)
 
FriscoHeavy
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Re: DFW Runway 17C/35C

Fri Oct 16, 2020 10:10 pm

TXRoadMan wrote:
FriscoHeavy wrote:
From my understanding (and again, I could be wrong), I believe they are going asphalt when they rehab one of the 18/36 runways (I forget which one is first).

According to this, it's 18R/36L, and you are correct that it will be asphalt. That graphic says that construction should have started by now, and the runway is currently NOTAM'd closed, so they must be working on it.

https://dfw.noiselab.casper.aero/upload ... 0Sheet.pdf


Thank you for that information!

I've driven by there several times over the last few weeks, but didn't notice. However, what I did notice/find interesting was seeing some landings on 13R, which I had not seen in a while. This would explain why I saw 13R in use and not 18R (though I just assumed there were no flights passing over at the time I was driving under the approach).

So after the completion of 18R/36L, are there any plans to resurface any of the other runways?
Whatever
 
TXRoadMan
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Re: DFW Runway 17C/35C

Fri Oct 16, 2020 10:23 pm

FriscoHeavy wrote:
So after the completion of 18R/36L, are there any plans to resurface any of the other runways?

I have no idea, but the next big project appears to be the SW end-around taxiways. And one nugget buried in that package is that they are planning (long-term, I would assume) to connect the SW and SE end-around complexes. They are planning the SW end-around to be lined up with ES on the SE side, so that they can go straight across Intl Pkwy to connect the two. It appears we're getting another taxiway bridge!
 
freakyrat
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Re: DFW Runway 17C/35C

Fri Oct 16, 2020 10:53 pm

TXRoadMan wrote:
FriscoHeavy wrote:
So after the completion of 18R/36L, are there any plans to resurface any of the other runways?

I have no idea, but the next big project appears to be the SW end-around taxiways. And one nugget buried in that package is that they are planning (long-term, I would assume) to connect the SW and SE end-around complexes. They are planning the SW end-around to be lined up with ES on the SE side, so that they can go straight across Intl Pkwy to connect the two. It appears we're getting another taxiway bridge!


They are also building end around taxiways on the North end of the airport.
 
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atcsundevil
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Re: DFW Runway 17C/35C

Fri Oct 16, 2020 11:19 pm

DEN1895 wrote:
Do you know how often asphalt runway need to be repaved compared to concrete? It would be interesting to see how the cost of maintenance over time compares as using asphalt over concrete only saved them $17 million for the runway rehab.

I think asphalt has a roughly 10-20 year lifespan while concrete is closer to 40. Cost isn't just in terms of materials and labor, but also in down time of the runway, running maintenance costs, and potentially having to replace a surface at a rate of 3 to 1. It also depends heavily on the climate and how it impacts the durability of each. I would guess the cost ends up leaning in favor of concrete, but it requires a significant up front investment and, particularly as it ages, frequent inspections.
 
GSPSPOT
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Re: DFW Runway 17C/35C

Fri Oct 16, 2020 11:28 pm

I frequent a webcam on the west side of DFW and noticed that they are working on the outer west side parallel runway. Another asphalt redo?
Great Lakes, great life.
 
DFW17L
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Re: DFW Runway 17C/35C

Fri Oct 16, 2020 11:47 pm

From the DMN 11/27/17, “ The runway is made up of a foot of lime-treated sub-base, 8 inches of cement-treated base and 18 inches of concrete.” Kinda like the foundations on homes and buildings in this part of the world.
 
TXRoadMan
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Re: DFW Runway 17C/35C

Sat Oct 17, 2020 12:07 am

freakyrat wrote:
They are also building end around taxiways on the North end of the airport.

Correct. The final phase of the NE end-around project was awarded in August, and the NW taxiways should follow the SW.
 
tmu101
Topic Author
Posts: 175
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2014 4:04 am

Re: DFW Runway 17C/35C

Sat Oct 17, 2020 3:17 am

TXRoadMan wrote:
FriscoHeavy wrote:
From my understanding (and again, I could be wrong), I believe they are going asphalt when they rehab one of the 18/36 runways (I forget which one is first).

According to this, it's 18R/36L, and you are correct that it will be asphalt. That graphic says that construction should have started by now, and the runway is currently NOTAM'd closed, so they must be working on it.

https://dfw.noiselab.casper.aero/upload ... 0Sheet.pdf


That would explain the increase in landing traffic on 13R (i live in Trophy Club and the landing traffic increase is very noticeable - i only wish more would utilize it for my enjoyment! :cloudnine: ). 18R/36L closed definitely explains that.

Just curious why do they continue taxiway rehabs with concrete if the runways are going to be resurfaced with asphalt? Less maintenance/downtime required I'm guessing?

I'm not a civil engineer (I am a structural analyst with Lockheed Martin Aero) but i find runway and taxiway construction FASCINATING! If aerospace didn't work out for me I would have studied civil engineering specializing in runway and taxiway design! :-)
 
FriscoHeavy
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Joined: Tue May 27, 2014 4:31 pm

Re: DFW Runway 17C/35C

Sat Oct 17, 2020 1:49 pm

TXRoadMan wrote:
FriscoHeavy wrote:
So after the completion of 18R/36L, are there any plans to resurface any of the other runways?

I have no idea, but the next big project appears to be the SW end-around taxiways. And one nugget buried in that package is that they are planning (long-term, I would assume) to connect the SW and SE end-around complexes. They are planning the SW end-around to be lined up with ES on the SE side, so that they can go straight across Intl Pkwy to connect the two. It appears we're getting another taxiway bridge!


Very interesting. I love the idea as it will make the airport even more efficient.

Looking forward to seeing those works in progress over the coming years.
Whatever
 
DFW17L
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Re: DFW Runway 17C/35C

Sat Oct 17, 2020 2:36 pm

TMU101 - Now you know what. Coppell went through when 17C was renovated and 17L usage went way up. Glad that’s over.
 
tmu101
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Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2014 4:04 am

Re: DFW Runway 17C/35C

Sat Oct 17, 2020 5:05 pm

DFW17L wrote:
TMU101 - Now you know what. Coppell went through when 17C was renovated and 17L usage went way up. Glad that’s over.


I know what you mean. Under normal circumstances 13R gets a fair amount of traffic but it's been esp busy lately and i love it. :bouncy: My favorite is when we get STRONG northwesterly winds and the airport shuts down all the north runways and operations are restricted to the 31s for all arrivals and departures. Sucks for passengers due to all the delays but WONDERFUL for us spotters! :cloudnine:

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