Harrisburg International Airport Levee System Rehabilitation
Urban was tasked with preparing construction documents and construction management for the rehabilitation of the existing flood dike and levee system.
Video credit: KC Construction Company
The Susquehanna Area Regional Airport Authority’s (SARAA) levee at Harrisburg International Airport was constructed in 1958 to prevent flooding from the Susquehanna River over the airport’s runway. Only minor maintenance and repair work has been performed on the levee since its construction. During the past 60 years, erosion, vegetative growth, ice jams, and other natural forces have reduced the cross section and condition of the levee that protects the airport’s infrastructure.
SARAA sought a consulting firm to provide design and construction management services for the rehabilitation of the airport’s flood dike and levee system. The project will improve drainage by rehabilitating 13,025 feet of the system along the river.
Under Urban Engineers’ on-call contract with SARAA, the firm was tasked with preparing construction documents for the rehabilitation of the existing flood dike and levee system. The design scope includes clearing vegetation; filling animal burrows; removal of debris from the dike slopes and outfalls; treatment and, repair and restoration of the flood dike slopes and riprap toe; repair and restoration of the deteriorated light lane crest and slopes; and installation of the articulated concrete block system.
The design and preparation of construction documents was on a highly accelerated schedule to meet the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) supplemental funding through the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018’s grant application deadline for “shovel ready projects.” The project was successfully advanced from preliminary design to bid documents in less than a month in the summer of 2018 in order to obtain bids by the FAA’s September 2018 grant deadline. The project team’s hard work paid off when the FAA awarded a $20 million grant to SARAA in May of 2019 as part of the second round of grants. The money is part of the $779 million in supplemental funding for infrastructure grants at 127 airports nationwide and in Puerto Rico, according to the FAA. The Harrisburg International Airport’s grant was one of the largest grants on the list.
Additional technical details for the project included:
Construction began in the fall of 2019. Urban’s construction management team is currently providing full-time construction management oversite services for the project. Upon completion, the project will preserve the levee system and protect the airport’s single runway, approach lighting system, and other critical infrastructure that supports airlines, air cargo operations, General Aviation, and operations of the 193rd Special Operations Wing of the Pennsylvania Air National Guard.