FLL Wins FDOT Award for North Runway Rehabilitation Project

Oct. 27, 2020

Once again, the North Runway Rehabilitation Project at Broward County's Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) has received industry recognition in 2020 as an outstanding aviation undertaking.   

On Oct. 20, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) announced FLL's massive $95 million runway reconstruction venture as its 2020 Commercial Service Airport Project of the Year. The state's Transportation Department judged three qualifying nominations in this award category. The winning project best exemplified outstanding achievements in aesthetics, safety, and service in Florida, an FDOT spokesman said in a virtual awards presentation.

FLL's North Runway (10L-28R) underwent a significant 120-day rehabilitation from June 3 to Sept. 30, 2019, and reopened to aircraft activity on Oct. 1, 2019. The massive overhaul of the airport's oldest runway included replacing its 75-foot center portion with concrete to extend its life 30-plus years and repaving its shoulders with asphalt. Additionally, upgrades to electrical, drainage and signage systems were done during the project and updating Federal Aviation Administration runway status lights. Other enhancements on the runway's adjacent taxiways began in March 2019 and were completed a year later.  

Portions of 10L-28R date back to 1943 when the U.S. Navy built it during World War II for the Fort Lauderdale Naval Training Base. The last significant runway improvements were completed in 2004, more than 15 years ago. During its four-month closure, all flights operated from the South Runway.

"Through a multi-prong approach, we were able to maintain full airport operations on a single runway while accomplishing this mammoth excavation and rebuilding of our oldest airfield," said Mark Gale, CEO/Aviation Director, Broward County Aviation Department (BCAD), FLL's operator. "Ultimately, we were able to relaunch the newly-built runway on time despite severe weather challenges that included a hurricane, among other obstacles," Gale added. "Congratulations to everyone who helped to orchestrate this award-winning project." 

In May, the runway project also received the Southeast Chapter of the American Association of Airport Executive's 2020 Corporate Award for Commercial Airport Project of the Year – Airfields. 

As part of FDOT's qualifying criteria, the runway rehabilitation project scored top marks for contributing significantly to FLL's development, sustainability, efficiency, capacity, and/or safety protocols. The project also met or exceeded several success factors to beat out its competition, such as cost-effectiveness, overcoming challenges, and pioneering the use of materials, equipment, and methods. Nominating projects also had to be partially funded by an FDOT grant. FLL's runway overhaul received $20,206,250 in FDOT funding. However, the bulk of construction funds came from passenger facility charges, which are built into airline fares for use on airport safety, security, and capacity enhancement.  

The general contractor for the project was General Asphalt Co., and engineer of record, Kimley-Horn. During peak construction, the project employed approximately 150-200 workers.

Other noteworthy components of the reconstruction of 10L-28R included:

  • A robust community outreach program to keep area residents, municipalities, and the traveling public informed about the project's progress and impacts
  • The unveiling of "In-Flight," a new public art mural painted on the jet blast deflector at the west approach end of the runway depicting the artist's vision of nature and flight