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New Dover Air Force Base Runway Officially Opens After Renovation

All construction is slated for completion during the summer of 2017, ending the 28-month long, $112 million construction project.

Mon October 17, 2016 - Northeast Edition #21
Senior Airman Aaron J. Jenne - 436th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

U.S. Air Force photo/Roland Balik.
U.S. Air Force photo/Roland Balik.
U.S. Air Force photo/Roland Balik. U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jared Duhon
A C-17A Globemaster III lands on runway 01-19 during a ribbon-cutting ceremony Sept. 23, 2016, on Dover Air Force Base, Del. U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman William Johnson
(L-R): Airman 1st Class Joseph Cho, 436th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron; Tony Price, subcontractor representative; Jeff Wagonhurst, Versar Inc. president and CEO; Col. Scott Durham, 512th AW commander; Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del.; Col. Ethan Griffin, 436th AW commander; Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del.; Rep. John Carney D-Del. representative; Robin Christiansen, Mayor of Dover; and Airman 1st Class Paula Padilla, 9th Airlift Squadron loadmaster. This C-5M Super Galaxy is the first aircraft to land on the newly reopened and reconstructed runway.

More than 200 members of Team Dover and the local community attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony Sept. 23, 2016, on the flightline behind the 436th Civil Engineer Squadron Fire Department on Dover AFB. Those in attendance included several U.S. senators, local government members and members of the 436th Airlift Wing, 512th AW, 166th AW and Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony commemorated the completion of Phase II of runway construction and celebrated the effective partnerships between various organizations at every level of cooperation that culminated in the successful conclusion to this phase. It featured static C-5M Super Galaxy and C-17A Globemaster III displays, which were made available for viewing and tours, and concluded with the touchdown of a C-5M and C-17A, the first to land on the newly reconstructed Runway 01-19.

This runway closed Feb. 2, 2015, for a complete renovation intended to extend its lifespan an additional 50 to 75 years with proper maintenance and upkeep.

The construction project reached a stage in which the intersection of both runways required maintenance in February 2016, temporarily decreasing Runway 14-32's effective length from 12,900 to 6,000 ft. (3,932 to 1,829 m), limiting the operational capabilities of Team Dover's C-5M Super Galaxy fleet. For eight months, the C-5M fleet was temporarily moved to JB MDL to ensure the continued success of the Air Force's global mobility mission. A contingent of C-5 maintainers and other support Airmen plus their equipment operated at JB MDL during this time.

With the reopening of Runway 01-19 these Airmen and assets will be able to return to Dover AFB.

To date, prime contractor and sub-contractor construction crews have placed more than 220,000 cu. yds. (168,202 cu m) of concrete materials, installed 1,040 lighting fixtures with 209 mi. (336 km) of cable, moved 51 acres of dirt, installed 5,000 linear ft. (1,524 m) of box culvert and placed 123,000 sq. yds. (102,844 sq m) of asphalt. Most of the concrete pouring was conducted during the night.

Though the runway has reopened, runway construction is not yet complete.

As the construction moves into Phase III, Dover AFB's shorter Runway 14-32 will close to allow construction on a portion in close proximity to Runway 01-19 as well as several taxiways.

All construction is slated for completion during the summer of 2017, ending the 28-month long, $112 million construction project.

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