Friday 04 May 2012
Major repairs and improvements to Guernsey Airport's runway will begin during next week's closure.
The Airport will close as normal on Monday evening, but not reopen until 6am on Thursday 10 May. It is the second of four planned closures, to give contractor Lagan Construction an extended period to carry out key elements of the essential maintenance and improvements that cannot be completed during a normal overnight closure.
Next week's work will involve the runway edges, where it was widened in the past but constructed with different a foundation and thinner asphalt layer than the centre section. These need strengthening along almost the full length, before a new surface is overlaid at a later date.
All asphalt and concrete excavated in this operation will be reused elsewhere during the project.
Airport director Colin Le Ray said there will be intense activity in and around the airport, including at night, to maximise the opportunity of the closure.
"There will be a lot of vehicles moving around the airfield and site compounds at all times, and we apologise in advance for any disruption this might cause. We have to maintain good progress to ensure the runway reopens on time, but there measures will be in place to minimise any disturbance as best we can," he said.
The closure is part of a major programme of essential maintenance and improvements, representing probably the largest development in Guernsey Airport's 73 year history. It will equip the current airfield to serve the Island for the next 30 years.
It includes resurfacing and reprofiling the runway; creating longer safety areas; and reconstructing the concrete aprons where aircraft park. The taxiways will also be resurfaced and realigned, and new drainage, airfield ground lighting and navigational aids installed.
During the closure Lagan will also complete the removal of contaminated soil from the airfield. This will be moved to the area between the main airport car park and Rue des Landes, and sealed in an impermeable lining along with material excavated in the previous closure.
The raised area outside the terminal, which has been removed in recent weeks, will then be restored and top soil reapplied in preparation for it to be grassed again.
"The excavation of the bund area and all the heavy machinery and vehicles has been clearly visible, and we have been conscious of the impact on the appearance of the area around the terminal. However that should be complete by the end of May," he said.
"Construction activity will inevitably be evident around the airport for the duration of the project, but the restoration of the earth bund will be an improvement".
There will be further requirements for night working in the coming weeks, prior to the start of the runway resurfacing which is expected will begin in July. Guernsey Airport has written to more than 800 homes in the vicinity of the airport, to update them ahead of the closure and provide contact details if they have any concerns.
The risk of disruption should be reduced from the relocation of the concrete mixing plant. This was originally going to be sited adjacent to the main car park, but is now further away from homes and nearby schools.
Having reviewed its detailed schedule and requirements, Lagan reduced the plan for two asphalt plants to just one. This meant sufficient space was available in the main south compound, opposite the airport entrance, to prepare all construction materials.
"The concrete plant was originally going to be located directly opposite the Mont Marche estate and only a few metres from other houses. By moving it to the south compound, it will be further away from homes so the risk of disruption should be reduced," said Mr Le Ray.
Public Services Department
Jim Anderson - Projects Liaison Officer
Tel: 01481 234692
Mob: 07781 108325