Wednesday 12 December 2012
Thousands of tonnes of old concrete and asphalt are being recycled as part for the essential maintenance and improvements at Guernsey Airport.
The extensive works at the airport include the complete excavation and reconstruction of all the concrete outside the terminal where aircraft normally park, known as aprons.
Once removed, all the old concrete will be crushed and reused as a base material, including in the new aprons.
Material excavated during the recent closures, when a 50 metre section of runway at the western end was removed, has also been recycled. Much of it was crushed on site while this operation was being carried out, and used in the base layers of the newly reconstructed section.
The remainder has been transferred to the main construction compound, adjacent to the airport entrance, where a stockpile of around 2,000 cubic metres is ready to be crushed. This is nearly enough material to fill an Olympic size swimming pool (2,500 cubic metres).
Guernsey Airport Project Manager, Gerry Prickett, said recycling the old material was a significant saving on the project, but has other major benefits.
'The refurbishment and resurfacing of the runway and the reconstruction of all the apron areas requires enormous amounts of aggregates and other materials, so reusing what we already have on site has major advantages,' he said.
'Form a project perspective, there is an obvious cost benefit in reducing the amount we have to import, or source locally. It reduces the amount we have to transport by road as well, which is another major saving and also less potential for disruption. Plus there are clearly environmental benefits, from reduced transport and raw material requirements. Those are equally important.'
Mr Prickett said a lot of the materials that have been imported for the project are specialist aggregates, which have to have certain properties to provide the high specification required on the runway and aprons. These surfaces are designed to last between 15 and 30 years.
'The existing concrete and asphalt areas are at least 35 years old, and in some instances a good deal older. They have past their useful life, which is why all this work is required, but even now the material can still be put to good use,' he said.