Colorado Public Works Journal, Fall/Winter 2021

Fall/Winter 2021 55 ACPA COLORADO/WYOMING CHAPTER Angela Folkestad P.E. A Concrete Runway Can Take You Anywhere We’ve all heard the saying that a mile of roadway will take you just one mile, but a mile of runway will take you anywhere. While many of our runways in Colorado need a little extra length beyond that mile to counter the effects of altitude density, we rely on them for a wealth of transportation needs beyond our own vacation or work travel. Colorado’s concrete runways are essential to our economy, and they help to reduce the cost to our aviation system because of their longevity. The large concrete runways at Denver International Airport and the Colorado Springs Airport receive much of the attention, but their smaller counterparts around the state deserve some recognition too. Runway 11/29 at the Vance Brand Municipal Airport in Longmont (below left) and RW 16/34 in Limon were both constructed in 1989, and RW 15/33 in Erie was built in 1990. All three of these concrete runways are now over 30 years old and continue to maintain a Pave- ment Condition Index (PCI) greater than 80 (out of a top score of 100). In the southeast corner of the state, RW 18/36 at the Southeast Colorado Regional Airport in Lamar was paved with concrete in 1998 and currently has a PCI of 98 after 23 years of service and minor repair activities. A new concrete runway was constructed at the Springfield The author Angela Folkestad is the executive director of ACPA, Colorado/Wyoming Chapter. She can be reached at Municipal Airport (below right) in 1999 approximately 150’ east of the much smaller original runway. The 5” thick concrete pavement is now 22 years old and has a PCI of 89 after very minimal maintenance. Runways are essential for transporting specialty surgeons to rural towns for weekly visits, supporting aerial agricultural application and aerial firefighting operations, delivering goods to remote parts of the state, supporting military operations and training, and transporting patients for emergency medical care. With operational costs increasing and funding decreasing, concrete overlays of existing asphalt can be a cost-effective solution to extend the life of your airport pavement. Consider concrete’s benefits to your community, the state, and beyond when you plan your next paving project. Contact Angela Folkestad ( or Sarah Sanders ( ) for assistance Vance Brand Municipal Airport in Longmont. (Photo credit: Shahn Sederberg) Springfield Municipal Airport adjacent to US 287. (Photo credit: Shahn Sederberg)