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Blue Grass Airport receives Project of the Year recognition

Airport Business magazine announces Runway 4-22 rehabilitation project as a winner
When travel from Blue Grass Airport slowed because of the pandemic, the airport completed several improvement projects, including a $16.2 million runway rehabilitation project.

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Blue Grass Airport (LEX) has been selected as one of six recipients of the 2022 Airport Business Projects of the Year. Airport Business, a North American aviation publication focusing on operations and technology innovation, named Blue Grass Airport as the winner in the Airfield category for its $16.2 million runway rehabilitation project managed by HDR Inc. The Airport Business recognition program showcases major improvement projects undergone by airports throughout the year.

Blue Grass Airport’s complex airfield project focused on the paving of its 7,000-foot main runway, which involved a 72-hour closure August 19-22, 2021. Airports typically rehabilitate pavement every 10 to 15 years and over a period of several months. However, Blue Grass Airport scheduled the entire paving project over one weekend to reduce the impact on passengers and provide a more continuously paved runway. Continuously paved runways extend the overall life of the pavement, requiring less maintenance and improving safety. During the months before and after the 72-hour closure, the airport conducted overnight activities such as surveying and removal of in-pavement lighting prior to the closure and then grooving, installation of in-pavement lighting and placement of permanent markings following the closure.

“We are grateful for the recognition of this collaborative project from Airport Business,” said Mark Day, director of development and facilities at Blue Grass Airport. “Runway rehabilitation projects are complicated efforts requiring a strong commitment to safety, coordination with airline schedules, adherence to detailed Federal Aviation Administration standards and, in our case, potentially challenging weather conditions. We successfully completed this project with the assistance of our valued partners including HDR Inc., ATS Construction and many others.”

At the project’s peak, up to 300 construction crew members were working simultaneously, in addition to nearly 100 others from the airport and its consulting groups. Advanced planning and contingency measures provided the airport with the opportunity to complete the project in the allotted 72-hour window. The airport reopened for commercial and private aviation flights according to the schedule on August 22, 2021.

Located in Lexington, Blue Grass Airport serves as many as 1.4 million passengers annually and supports the region with approximately 3,475 jobs and a total economic output exceeding $370 million.

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