Ainsworth Regional Airport

Ainsworth, Nebraska

Ainsworth Regional Airport is a former World War II airbase, and most of the original concrete pavement used for runways and taxiways has been overlaid with asphalt.

Over time, asphalt cracks and repairs are needed. In 2018, the airport selected Olsson to design and provide construction observation to rehabilitate parallel Taxiway A, and connecting taxiways B and C and the apron. After working with the airport for more than a decade, our team was immediately ready for takeoff.

First, our in-house geotechnical team assessed the site and conducted a thorough investigation of the pavement. Based on our evaluation, we determined the most cost-effective way to restore the taxiways and the apron was to mill the existing asphalt surface to the concrete pavement, repair the existing concrete pavement so it could continue to serve as a stable base, and design a new surface course to minimize the effects of the reflective cracking that occurs when placing asphalt over concrete.

We designed the entire rehabilitation project and new layouts for the apron and tiedown configuration.

Thanks to our fast-track design, the project was selected for an additional $3.6 million in funding from the Federal Aviation Administration, which allowed the airport to add the rehabilitation of Runway 17/35 to the project.

For the runway, we quickly organized an additional geotechnical assessment and determined that a 4-inch asphalt overlay was needed to handle heavy aircraft loads. The project was constructed in phases to allow the main runway to remain open as long as possible.

Our plans were very thorough and designed for constructability, which resulted in lower bids. In this case, bids were 10 percent below the estimate and construction was completed in 2021.  


Diane Hofer

Lincoln, Nebraska


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