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We recently completed resurfacing works on Cork Airport Runway 16-34


Client: DAA

Location: Cork, Ireland

Value: €40M

The project was a major part of investment of more than €40M in the airport which is essential to the economy of the South of Ireland. The scale of the project, from start to finish cannot be underestimated involving detailed planning and logistics – some 2,350 truckloads of asphalt as well as 200 truckloads of CBGM concrete.

Construction works on this time sensitive project took place on a 24/7 basis, allowing the new runway to be completed by 22nd November in advance of the busy Christmas travel period. The project was initially scheduled to take 9 months to complete, However Cork Airport management (DAA) decided to avail of the huge drop in passenger numbers due to Covid-19 to fully close the airport from September 10th for ten weeks.

The Taoiseach, Micheál Martin officially opened the runway at a ceremony on Saturday November 20th. At the ceremony Cork airport managing director, Niall MacCarthy paid tribute to everyone involved in the project, ensuring that the refurbishment of the runway was completed on schedule and within budget. He paid particular tribute to Breedon Asphalt for providing a top-class runway surface.

Breedon Asphalt placed 47,000 tonnes of Marshall Asphalt in 47 shifts, working 6 days a week. The project team was led by PJ Kennedy, Director and Padraig O’Connor, Project Manager. The team comprised 60 personnel with 50 no. of items of plant and vehicles involving complex logistical co-ordination of labour, plant and material resources. Asphalt materials were manufactured at Breedon facility in Carrigtwohill Co, Cork.

Breedon initially placed 4,000 tonnes of CBGM as road base reconstruction mainly along centreline of the runway. This was followed by various layers of Marshall Asphalt Regulating, Base Course, Binder Course and Surface Course. The total runway area was 145,000m2 was paved in echelon with 2 Vogele 1800 tracked pavers each with a 6m screed fed by Roadtec shuttle providing continuous paving and a superior finish surface.

Breedon have embraced the latest available technology on this project and have installed Highway Data Systems (HDS) autonomous Quality Assurance System. The HDS bespoke Etec system is linked to the Breedon weighbridge which extracts the dispatched docket information and transmits to the control unit at the laying operation. This gives full traceability of material placement location, delivery and rolling temperature information. Breedon technical staff can periodically review real time information on site whenever they require it.

In addition, the Voelkel Navigator Roller System has been fitted to two brand new Hamm HD90+ rollers. This system records complete roller movements through GPS from the start of the shift right throughout the day. This innovative quality system gives the roller operator real time compaction data to ensure the full pavement area receives the required number of roller passes and compaction. Both systems are monitored from HDS Headquarters in Hertfordshire in the UK, with data been sent direct from the machines on site in Cork Airport, with regular updates coming back to the Breedon Asphalt Technical team on a regular basis. The significant benefits to our work practices for Quality, Environmental and Health & Safety are very substantial.

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