Runway Shoulders; Runway Mill and Overlay

Project Rationale

Adding shoulders to a runway increases safety. In the event of a runway excursion (an aircraft unintentionally veers off the runway) the shoulders give the pilot more pavement on which to regain control before ending up in the dirt infield.

While runway excursions are uncommon at Grand Canyon National Park Airport, it was determined by ADOT and FAA staff that it is a necessary safety feature due to the potential for grave injury and the extensive damage that an runway excursion can cause to an aircraft.

The runway itself has a rather low pavement condition score. It has many cracks and other issues of mild pavement failure. The mill and overlay will restore the runway to as-new condition. This will greatly enhance runway safety and passenger comfort.

Design Phase

Stantec is the engineer of record and completed the design for the runway shoulders. The shoulders are 25 feet wide, will be constructed on both sides of the runway, and will go the entire length of the runway (8,999 feet). The runway will remain as shown in the photo.

aerial view of grand canyon airport runway

Construction Phase

ADOT is currently in the process of putting the runway shoulders project out to bid. Construction will likely begin shortly after Labor Day. Please check back here for project updates.

Due to the cost of construction, the runway mill and overlay is postponed until 2023 or 2024.

What to expect

Because this project is adjacent to the runway, the runway will be narrowed to 75 feet from its current 150 feet. Furthermore, there will be a three-day closure in late September or October as we make the necessary adjustments to ensure safe air navigation.

Project Cost

Design: $460,600 (both shoulders and the runway)

Construction: Engineer’s estimate is about $16,000,000. ~$8,000,000 for each phase of the project.

Project will be 91.06% funded by an Airport Improvement Program grant from the FAA, and the remaining 8.94% will be funded by the State Aviation Fund, managed by ADOT Aeronautics Group.