Milwaukee Mitchell Airport Recycling Runway Concrete
The airport is currently in the middle of a $10.6 million runway resurfacing project.
Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport is reconstructing one of its two main runways that service commercial airliners, and it’s going to recycle the old concrete for other projects in the region.
The $10.6 million project will involve tearing up the existing runway, and crushing the concrete into finer material called “breaker run.” The runway is the main east-west runway used by commercial airlines at the airport. It’s planned to be closed until mid-November for the project.
The crushed concrete taken from the runway is being repurposed for road construction projects in southeastern Wisconsin. “Recycling these materials on-site at MKE and using them in nearby projects minimizes the need for trucking and fuel while preventing wear and tear on roads and trucks,” the airport said in a statement.
Any of the “breaker run” left over from road construction projects will be used as fill underneath a taxiway at the airport. Airport Director Brian Dranzik said in a statement, “We’re thrilled to replace the primary runway pavement in a way that is clean, green, and cost-effective for the Airport.”
This project is the first time in more than 40 years that the runway has been resurfaced. Runways are regularly inspected to determine maintenance schedules, said Harold Mester, a spokesperson for the airport. “The time frame varies based on a number of factors, including environmental conditions and the size of aircraft that typically uses each runway.”
But, with regular maintenance, Mester said, “these runway surfaces will perform well for many decades.”