Runway Safety Area Improvements and Runway Extension, Spartanburg Downtown Memorial Airport, SC

For over 20 years, the long-term goal of the City of Spartanburg has been to bring the runway safety area up to standards for safer operations at the facility and to extend the runway longer than the existing 5,200 feet available. Given terrain, development constraints, and the need for 1.4 million cubic yards of fill, it was long thought to be an unrealistic goal. However, WK Dickson has been working with the City to help acquire land, line up grant funding, and put proper planning documents in place to enable this $28M project.

This project began with an Environmental Assessment Study for the Runway Safety Area/Runway Extension Project with components for the runway extension justification and economic feasibility study. In direct coordination with the FAA an Environmental Assessment (EA) was performed and included the analysis of endangered species, wetlands, streams, and floodplain impacts associated with the runway extension project. The project involved the preparations, submittals and approvals of a Jurisdictional determination (JD), CWA 404 Individual Permit and a CWA 401 Water Quality Certification for the Runway Extension and associated mitigation. Prior to the construction of the runway extension, wetland and stream mitigation requirements had to be fulfilled. Mitigation credits were first purchased from an available mitigation bank; however, the bank could not provide enough stream credits for the project. As a result, the restoration of Greenville Branch was proposed to provide the additional credits needed. This mitigation project will not only allow the City of Spartanburg to realize the mitigation credits required, it will also allow the City to beautify a section of the northside community in downtown Spartanburg by taking an old, piped section of the Greenville Branch, removing all piping, day-lighting this stream and restoring this stream to its natural conditions. This project included natural channel design that will foster aquatic habitat and regenerative stormwater conveyance design techniques to establish a pool/cascade sequence for grade control through a steep section of restored channel. The EA phase of the project was completed in 2013.

The first two phases of the project have been bid and are complete, and phase three is underway. The projects included the movement of approximately 1.4 million CY of fill to realize a standard safety area around a 650-foot runway extension. The third phase is under construction and includes runway rehabilitation of the original runway and a taxiway sectional re-grade and reconstruction as well as replacement of runway lighting and upgrades to Navaids.