News>Construction work starts off base for taxiway extension
RAF MILDENHALL, England – John Broad and Paul Watson, contractors, fix a concrete post into a trench July 26, 2012, at RAF Mildenhall. The posts are lifted with a mini-digger, enabling the contractors to put fresh, semi-dry concrete underneath, before being lifted again onto the concrete. Broad then looks through the holes in the post, using them as a guide to make sure other posts are positioned correctly. (U.S. Air Force photo/Karen Abeyasekere)
RAF MILDENHALL, England – Intermediate concrete fence posts and complete horizontal straining wires are put in position, awaiting installation of the chain link metal fence which is rolled out on the ground adjacent July 26, 2012. The base perimeter is being extended near the A1101 roundabout at the east end of RAF Mildenhall’s airfield in order to secure the building site. The field is being transformed into a taxiway extension and will provide extra room which allows swifter takeoffs for heavy aircraft. Currently, heavy aircraft have to back-taxi to the end of the overrun and turn around, which puts stresses both on the runway and the undercarriage of the aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo/Karen Abeyasekere)
RAF MILDENHALL, England – A 13-ton, 360-degree-tracked excavator removes soil and puts it into two waiting 10-ton dump trucks as they prepare the field area next to Taxiway Alpha, RAF Mildenhall, for construction July 26, 2012. The soil is temporarily stored on site and will be reused in the construction works, which has environmental benefits for the project, the base community and the local community. The contracted design-and-build project will cost approximately $15 million and will benefit RAF Mildenhall by providing direct access for heavily-laden aircraft to launch from the overrun. (U.S. Air Force photo/Karen Abeyasekere)
RAF MILDENHALL, England – Paul Watson, a contractor, uses a spirit level to check if a concrete post is straight as he helps put up a security fence around a field next to Taxiway Alpha, RAF Mildenhall. The field is being made into a taxiway extension and will provide extra room which will allow swifter takeoffs for heavier aircraft. Currently, heavy aircraft have to back-taxi to the end of the overrun and turn around, which puts stress on the runway and the undercarriage of the aircraft. Approximately 30 concrete posts, covering a distance of about 700 meters, will be used to make the security fence around the contractors’ compound as they begin construction of the taxiway extension. (U.S. Air Force photo/Karen Abeyasekere)
by Karen Abeyasekere
100th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
8/1/2012 - RAF MILDENHALL, England -- Initial work started recently on the field closest to the A1101 roundabout at the east end of RAF Mildenhall's airfield.
The expanded fenceline is part of a $15 million project which will extend Taxiway Alpha to connect with the east end of the Runway 29 overrun. The contracted design-and-build project will benefit RAF Mildenhall by providing direct access for heavy aircraft to launch from the overrun.
"The construction of the taxiway extension will allow swifter takeoffs for heavier aircraft," said Mark Poynter, 100th Civil Engineer Squadron project manager. "Currently, heavy aircraft have to back-taxi to the end of the overrun and turn around. This puts stresses on the runway and the undercarriage of the aircraft and (the extension)will allow swifter aircraft movements to support the flying mission."
Poynter explained it is anticipated that the perimeter road and running track will be closed for the duration of the project, as the area will form part of the contractors "free zone." Free zones are established within controlled areas when construction projects and similar activities make it inappropriate or impractical to apply normal circulation controls. The east end section of the perimeter road is scheduled to close Aug. 6 and will remain closed until at least April 2013.
"We are looking to see if there is any way we can reduce the closure period without incurring additional costs," Poynter said. "But with that said, the overarching consideration is safety, and this is an active construction zone."