Louisville International Airport serves as the region’s economic engine. More than $127 million in Capital and Major Maintenance projects are programmed at Louisville International for FY 2016 through FY 2020. Some of the key current and future projects are rehabilitating select areas of the airfield, airfield geometry reconfiguring (including new taxiways), Runway 11-29 RSA (Runway Safety Area), terminal renovating and replacing the Woodlawn Overpass.
Runway 11-29 Safety Area Improvement Project
While it has been discussed for some time (public meetings were held on August 5, 2013 and April 3, 2014), construction soon will begin on this project to ensure that the safety areas for Runway 11-29 comply with FAA standards. (A 2009 Congressional mandate requires that all Runway Safety Areas be fully compliant with current FAA standards by December 31, 2015.)
All construction will take place on SDF’s airfield and, as part of the project, construction will soon begin on a 292-foot tunnel, which will tie into the airport’s existing West Perimeter Road.
In 2006, the Airport Authority launched its Beyond 2010 plan to ensure that Louisville International is ready to handle the largest and newest long-range commercial aircraft—helping to retain and attract even more aviation-related companies and jobs for our community and prepare the airport for 21st century aviation needs.
A key project within the plan is the construction of Taxiway Alpha, just west of Runway 17R-35L (West Runway). However, a nearby roadway, Crittenden Drive, encroached on mandatory clearance zones for Taxiway A and needed to be relocated.
To minimize the disruption to adjoining neighbors, better manage construction and secure necessary funding, the estimated $28 million roadway relocation project was divided into three phases.
South Connector: Completed in August 2012 thanks to $5 million from the Commonwealth of Kentucky and $6 million from the Louisville Redevelopment Authority.
In spring 2012, the Commonwealth of Kentucky committed $17 million to construct the North Connector and the Woodlawn Overpass Phases of the Crittenden Drive Relocation Project.
North Connector: In September 2013, construction was completed on approximately 1.25 miles of new roadway from the intersection of Crittenden Drive and Park Boulevard south to Wabasso Avenue, which eliminated the second – and final – pinch point and allowed Taxiway Alpha to be completed.
Woodlawn Overpass: As of July 2015, the Woodlawn Drive Overpass project is being designed. Components of the project include:
• Re-surfacing Allmond Avenue with a new asphalt-wearing surface
• Installing minor curb-line drainage improvements and
• Replacing the existing bridge (in the same general location)
The new bridge will be constructed in a carefully phased manner to minimize the impact flow of traffic across the tracks.
We are finishing geo-technical reviews to assist in the final design of the bridge and hope to have a bid-construction package available for contractors sometime in the fall of 2015. With that schedule, some of the roadway work should begin in fall 2015, with bridge construction work beginning in spring 2016.
Taxiway Alpha is complete. In addition to relocating sections of Crittenden Drive, it was necessary to relocate FedEx’s aircraft parking area and the company’s feeder-truck and employee parking lots to construct the taxiway.
The total cost of the project was approximately $40 million (FAA contributed $37 million; the Airport Authority contributed $3 million.)
Taxiway Alpha is 10,000 feet—or almost 2 (1.89) miles long—and 100 feet wide—as wide as a 10-story building is high.