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C-5 Galaxy Runway Extension

The C-5 Galaxy is the one of the largest military aircraft in the world. Ten new C-5s were due to be stationed at their new home at the West Virginia Air National Guard Base in Martinsburg, West Virginia. Starting in August 2006, Independence Excavating would need to prepare the site for a new runway extension and help complete the new hangars and apron to handle the oversize cargo planes.

Landing the C-5 on a Tightening Schedule

Independence Excavating prepares the runway for the C-5 Galaxy aircraft, the largest military aircraft in the world

Independence Excavating prepares the runway for the C-5 Galaxy aircraft, the largest military aircraft in the world

Clark Construction awarded the site development contract to Independence Excavating and work began the same month. Over 85,000 cubic yards of topsoil, over 700,000 cubic yards of dirt and rock, and portions of the existing runway would need to be excavated. Removing the rock by ripping and hydraulic hammers kept it clean and ready for on-site crushing for use in the new stone base.

Midway through the project, the West Virginia Air National Guard announced that the first C-5 would be landing on December 4, 2006 – 16 days earlier than expected. Independence Excavating was able to meet the tighter schedule despite extremely sensitive sub-grade and abnormally wet months of September and October.

Hangar and Apron Construction

Originally started in 2005, the new apron pavement was delayed for four months while waiting on a redesign. The redesign was completed and construction resumed around the same time the runway excavation needed to start. The redesign required Independence Excavating to excavate an additional 26,000 cubic yards of material at a 6-inch depth over the entire pavement area along with the placement of 65,000 tons of stone and 165,000 square yards of filter fabric.

The Results

Both projects required special care to be taken while construction was being completed due to the sensitivity of the sub-grade that was encountered. The stone could only be placed on the sub-grade area that the asphalt-paving contractor could cover prior to the next precipitation. The milestones on these projects were met by working day and night shifts for three months with the cooperation and dedication of all the operators, laborers, mechanics, greasers, fuel men, surveyors, project managers and supervision.

Location:

Martinsburg, West Virginia

Summary:

Runway extension for West Virginia National Guard to accommodate the C-5 Galaxy. Removing 85,000 cubic yards of topsoil and excavation of 700,000 cubic yards of dirt and rock to make way for the new runway.

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