Naval Air Station Jacksonville Equipped with New Runways
JACKSONVILLE, FL – Archer Western has completed an overhaul of the runways and taxiways at Naval Air Station Jacksonville (NAS JAX), Northeast Florida’s first naval air station dating back to 1940. After decades of neglect, the airfield was structurally deficient and in need of major repairs. After five years of careful restoration planning by the Navy, operations were temporarily moved to Jacksonville’s Cecil Airport and Archer Western crews began demolition.
“Conversations about teamwork for this major project started long before the runway was shut down and torn up for recycling,” Archer Western Project Manager Justin Cooper said. “That kind of communication is what kept everything going.”
Archer Western crews removed approximately 100,000 tons of existing concrete, which was crushed on site and reused as the base layer. The new runway utilized 60,000 CY of concrete and 60,000 tons of asphalt. In addition, approximately 117 miles of new power cables were installed to aid in powering 1,200 power-saving LED runway lights.
At times, the crews were reminded of the history that the air station instilled. Buried beneath the runway were aged fuel tanks, estimated to be nearly 70 years old, and some lights on the runway were of similar age.
The completion of this $52 million dollar project allows NAS JAX to safely operate a variety of aircraft, including the P8, one of the most sophisticated aircraft in the world, weighing an estimated 180,000 pounds.
“Jacksonville is a Navy town; we have been for years,” said Jacksonville City Council President Greg Anderson. “To see this project come to conclusion, with a total redeployment with new assets, really means that this space will be relevant for many years to come.”
A grand opening ceremony was held to celebrate the restoration, culminating with a U.S. Navy Boeing P-8A Poseidon, P-3 Orion landing on the new 8,000-foot runway. This was the first landing of more than 50,000 landings and takeoffs estimated to occur each year.
NAS JAX Commanding Officer Capt. Howard Wanamaker recognized Archer Western and other key personnel who worked on the project. “Your dedication, cooperation and patience helped complete this project safely, on time and on budget – thank you,” Wanamaker said.