Dover Air Force Base runway renovation on final approach

 

The bright white concrete shows progress on the new runway at Dover Air Force Base. The runway is scheduled to reopen in September. (Special To The Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh)

The bright white concrete shows progress on the new runway at Dover Air Force Base. The runway is scheduled to reopen in September. (Special To The Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh)

DOVER — A $98.3 million runway renovation will conclude fully next spring, but Dover Air Force Base officials said this week that full capacity takeoff and landing operations will return by late September.

Col. Michael W. Grismer Jr., commander of the 436th Airlift Wing who retired Friday after 24 years in the United States Air Force, referenced his roots to describe the project’s impact from a personal perspective.

“My Air Force career began as a civil engineer and to see this critical airfield project to completion, and more importantly how this team of professionals came together to ensure success meeting safety, schedule, and construction specifications, has been one of the highlights of my career,” he said.

If maintained correctly, Col. Grismer said, the original 01-19 runway built in 1941 will last for decades to come.

“Team Dover fights from our base every day, protecting the American way of life,” said Col. Grismer.

“Our new runway and supporting infrastructure is critical to our rapid global mobility mission, and with proper maintenance, the runway will support our operations for the next 50 to 75 years.”

Last week, crews continued to work in the intersection area of runways 01-19 and 14-32, breaking for aircraft takeoffs and landings forewarned by a loud horn and lowered flag. The original 01-19 runway is slated to re-open next month.

Since construction began in February 2015, DAFB has primarily serviced C-17 and C-130 aircraft on a 6,000 foot runway. There are 13 C-17A Globemaster IIIs at Dover, providing intermediate strategic and tactical capability, with uninterrupted operations since the project began.

A risk management analysis is conducted for a C-5 maneuver with 6,000 feet of runway, if applicable, with a maximum cargo of 750,000 pounds depending on conditions; typically a C-5 can be loaded with up to 840,000 pounds with a 9,600-foot runway that’s coming to DAFB.

DAFB’s fleet of 8 to 10 C-5M Super Galaxy aircraft has been stationed at Joint Base McGuire-Dix in Lakehurst, New Jersey, during the renovation, taking support airmen north with them on an interim basis.

Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com

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