Nuiqsut Airport Improvements

Project Detailsx

Client: North Slope Borough

Location: Nuiqsut, AK

Year Completed:2020


> Planning & Design
> Geotechnical Services
> Environmental Services & Permitting
> Surveying
> Construction Administration


Project Overviewx

In the fall of 2017 and spring of 2018, the Nuiqsut Airport runway surface was saturated, soft, and rutted. The material condition was beyond the point that the NSB’s Department of Public Works (DPW) could maintain the runway during wet conditions and breakup.

Sometimes, the runway was closed for weeks- or until the moisture levels dissipated or the runway surface froze in the fall. During runway closures, the community could not receive deliveries, and residents could not travel by plane except for occasional trips by Borough Search and Rescue helicopters.

The community needed help establishing a useable runway surface until the FAA-funded project established a new runway surface. As a result, DPW reached out to HDL to solve the problem.

Immediately upon notification, HDL personnel traveled to Nuiqsut to evaluate the runway’s condition and work with DPW and a local contractor to determine a path forward.

HDL determined that more material was needed on the runway to re-establish the crown and provide positive drainage to the edge of the embankment.

HDL developed a scope of work and helped negotiate a fair cost from the contractor for the emergency repair. In addition, HDL oversaw the construction on behalf of the Owner and inspected the contractor’s work, resulting in a firm and competent runway surface that successfully supported traffic until the completion of the runway reconstruction project in 2020.

Phase 1 of the project was fast-tracked to replace the failing and unsafe power, lighting controls, and standby generator. The Phase 2 design reconstructed the airport. To accelerate the schedule, HDL prepared a separate procurement to import approximately 58,000 tons of CASC via the industry ice road in winter. HDL also provided construction administration and post-construction phase services, including resident inspection and project management in Nuiqsut over two construction seasons.