Bryce Canyon Airport Runway Reconstruction

Location Bryce Canyon City, Utah

Owner Garfield County

Originally built in 1936, this airport and its runway are located just outside the main entrance to Bryce Canyon National Park, sitting at an elevation of 7,586 feet above sea level. The airport’s main hangar, constructed entirely from local Ponderosa Pine, is a cherished historical landmark, registered on the National Register of Historic Places.

Over the decades, the main runway underwent multiple extensions, widening, and asphalt overlays. The high elevation, harsh climate, and short construction season in this region consistently presented difficulties in terms of design and construction. Consequently, the project’s objective of closing, pulverizing, stockpiling, excavating, rebuilding, and paving the runway, while also replacing all runway lighting and navigational aids, was particularly noteworthy, given that it took place during a global pandemic.

One notable aspect of the project involved recycling the existing asphalt pavement to create a basecourse for the new asphalt mat. This recycling effort not only saved costs but also reduced the need for importing aggregate and burning fuel for transporting materials to and from the site. Furthermore, all six connector taxiways were meticulously reconstructed to connect the new runway surface to the existing parallel taxiway and apron network, ensuring seamless connectivity.

As part of the renovation, the project also entailed the removal and replacement of the decades-old runway edge light system with energy-efficient LED edge light fixtures. Additionally, state-of-the-art precision approach path indicator (PAPI) light systems were installed at each end of the runway, enhancing safety and visibility for pilots. Ultimately, the project achieved its goals, and Garfield County, Utah, now boasts the newest runway in Southern Utah.

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