Runway 7-25 Rehabilitation

Location: Soldotna, Alaska
Project Date: 2021
Owner: City of Soldotna
Contract Amount: $5,403,678
Status: Complete

Project Details: This 100% FAA funded project consisted of reconstructing Soldotna Airport’s main runway 7/25, installation of all new runway lighting, and new precision approach path indicators (PAPI). As an addition to the project, Knik received a change order to resurface the 7/25 gravel strip. Knik was awarded the project in 2020 with a caveat that the work could not begin until 2021. This allowed Knik an opportunity to plan the project over the winter and make sure it would be constructed in its entirety in the 2021 season. A later-than-normal spring thaw pushed the construction start date back in the beginning, but Knik aggressively worked to make up for lost time. The project was completed without a single injury, even minor, or equipment/vehicle damage beyond normal wear. All of the gravel, aggregates, and hot mix had to be trucked from 3 different offsite locations using Knik’s double Beall belly dumps, and end dumps through the extreme summer traffic of the Kenai Peninsula. Knik drivers managed to do this with no incident, accident, or even a windshield claim. Inside the field, skilled operators excavated over 140,000 cubic yards of material and hauled throughout the airfield to be placed in designated waste areas, or reused in embankment using Volvo A30s and A40s. Knik created a surface model and put it to work on our Cat D6T equipped with Topcon GPS machine control making fast and efficient dozer operations to place and finish over 49 acres of topsoil. Paving of the runway was completed using a Blaw Knox 5510 paver extended out to pull 22’ panels, fed by one of Knik’s Shuttle Buggy transfer machines. Plant mixing, hauling and laydown was completed without a notable breakdown thanks to Knik’s “on-top-of-it” maintenance crew. The rehabilitated runway was opened to use on September 29 after the lighting system and airfield painting was completed. Knik has received a lot of positive feedback from the Soldotna Airport users and operators. Samaritan’s Purse, Natron Air, MARC and other operators have indicated they had virtually no impact to their operations during the entire project. Many private pilots and general aviation users have commented on the high quality of the finished product, especially the upgraded gravel runway. The project was a great opportunity for Knik to further its reputation in the Kenai/ Soldotna area. Knik’s Soldotna team completed the project well within the project time allowed, under budget, in a safe and professional manner and left behind beautiful runways that will be enjoyed by aviators for many years to come.