Runway Woes Due to Poor Upkeep

Tue November 26, 2013 - West Edition

LOS ANGELES (AP) A construction company said poor maintenance, not shoddy work, is responsible for a deteriorating runway at Los Angeles International Airport.

Tutor-Saliba Corp. said Nov. 13 in a letter sent to the executive director of Los Angeles World Airports that it is a victim of a witch hunt, according to the Los Angeles Times. The company claims abrasive cleaning methods and water blasting by maintenance crews is damaging the runway. It suggested the airport review its maintenance program.

The city of Los Angeles recently sued the company and three other contractors over the $250 million project to relocate the airport’s 13,000-ft. (3,962 m) south runway for alleged defects that are causing the runway to wear out prematurely.

The runway continues to handle up to 500 takeoffs and landings a day. LAX officials have said the problems pose no immediate danger.

The project was part of an effort to improve airport safety and help reduce runway incursions by planes. Airport officials have said the problems may require replacement of the pavement earlier than planned and could disrupt future flight operations at the nation’s third-busiest airport.