Fast-Setting Cement Speeds Runway Repairs

Pavement engineers replace asphalt with concrete that reached 3500 psi compressive strength in three hours.
Posted on 04/22/2024

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West Virginia International Yeager Airport is one of the most passenger-friendly airports in the U.S., thanks in part to a short commute from downtown Charleston, WV, and parking within walking distance of the terminal. The airport offers competitive airfares to destinations worldwide and nonstop flights to six major cities. When the airport runway needed repairs in 2019, work had to be done so as not to disrupt the daily flight schedule.

The runway had a few areas of deterioration that required full-depth replacement of the 8-inch-thick asphalt topping. Each deteriorated area was about 8 feet wide by 15 feet long. The Central West Virginia Regional Airport Authority decided to replace the troubled asphalt with Rapid Set® cement concrete.

Pavement repairs took place overnight so the runway could open to air traffic by 7 a.m. each day. To ensure morning deadlines were met, the airport authority specified that repaired areas reach 3500 psi compressive strength in three hours.

General contractor Triton Construction, based out of St. Albans, WV, self-performed all work, which included supplying the concrete and performing pavement removal and replacement. Using a mix design with Rapid Set® Cement, the contractor created a test pavement that exceeded project requirements at 5000 psi compressive strength in one hour.

Rapid Set® Cement is a fast-setting, high-performance hydraulic cement that is used to create concrete when a fast return to service, high strength, and increased durability are important. It qualifies as very rapid hardening (VRH) per ASTM C1600 (Standard Specification for Rapid Hardening Hydraulic Cement). It also has inherent sulfate resistance and low-shrinkage characteristics, making it ideal for pavement of all types – including airport runways.

Triton-owned volumetric mixers were used to mix and transport the material. Using the same techniques they would for portland cement mixes, the crew placed the concrete and used screeds to strike off. They finished the surface with floats and hand trowels. After a final broom finish, they water-cured the repaired area.

Work took place Oct. 1 through Nov. 1, 2019. All parties were pleased with the overall performance of Rapid Set® Cement.

Fast and effective: that’s runway repair using concrete made with Rapid Set® Cement. Triton Construction placed and finished 8 tons using its own volumetric mixers and the same techniques used for portland cement concrete. Repairs took place overnight so the airport could reopen runways to air traffic by 7 a.m.
Project at a glance
  • Project Type: Pavements (Airport)
  • Application: Repair & Restoration
  • Product: Rapid Set® Cement
  • Location: Charleston, WV
  • Size: 25 cubic yards
  • Dates: Oct. 1 - Nov. 1, 2019
  • Owner: Central West Virginia Regional Airport Authority
  • Contractor/Supplier: Triton Construction
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