Runway and Terminal Stabilization at LAX Airport

Problem

The Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is the United State’s second busiest airport. As such, its runways, taxiways, and terminals are in nearly constant use. The heavy air traffic at LAX necessitates a long-term maintenance contract with a specialist that can keep the airport’s pavement systems smooth and open for business. For this contract, LAX administrators chose URETEK. Now, whenever LAX needs site-specific work done, they count on URETEK to quickly, safely, and proficiently address the problem. One recent project illustrates the situation perfectly: terminal 6 and runway 24R/6L were facing a service interruption due to cracking and depression that had resulted in the need for stabilization in a timely manner.

Analysis

For this project, URETEK and LAX prioritized terminal stabilization first and then runway repair. The URETEK crew worked closely with the LAX engineering and electrical staff to ensure a smooth, safe work flow for a timely repair.  safety, and proficiency. URETEK would employ its URETEK Deep Injection® (UDI) process to stabilize and lift the terminal and the runway, thus avoiding the need for a full-depth reconstruction project.

Solution

URETEK began work at the site at 10pm to avoid heavy traffic and prevent inconvenient closures. Crews deployed to the areas identified by LAX engineering staff and conducted Dynamic Cone Penetrometer (DCP) testing to confirm and locate void spaces present under the pavement.  Next, a series of channels were drilled through the concrete to depths of four and five feet. UDI worked as planned to fill the voids, stabilize the surrounding soils, and bring the terminal and runway pavement back up to grade. By 6am the following morning, URETEK crews had left the area and air traffic resumed on schedule.

Result

URETEK stabilized and lifted LAX’s terminal 6 and runway 24R/6L in just one night. UDI proved to be the reliable choice once again for airport administrators who have very little margin for error. URETEK is proud to serve LAX and works diligently to keep this busy airport up and running without causing major shutdowns and closures. Because the airport is large and ever-growing, URETEK is constantly maintaining, stabilizing, and repairing various runways, taxiways, and terminals. Whenever LAX has a problem, URETEK offers a fast, affordable, and effective solution.

URETEK Deep Injection® (UDI)

Widely referenced throughout our industry, UDI involves the injection of structural polymer into base and subgrade soils to increase the load bearing capacity. This is achieved by injecting the polymer through small holes drilled directly through the pavement structure to depths determined by site-specific analysis. Our URETEK 486 Star® material flows easily into voids and weak zones within the soil mass below. Through a controlled chemical reaction, the expanding polymer compacts surrounding soils and applies a controlled pressure on targeted areas of the affected pavement above. If needed, a multi-injection design plan is utilized to gently return the pavement to its original grade. The composite material quickly cures into a strong, dimensionally stable, and water-resistant geo-material, providing years of reliable service.

URETEK 486 Star®

URETEK 486 Star® polymer is a two-component, high-density, expanding thermoset polyurethane system. It was developed to be the ideal solution for under-sealing, void filling, lifting of settled pavement, stabilization and stiffening of weak soils, and for encapsulating and sealing buried infrastructure. URETEK 486 Star® is environmentally inert, non-toxic, and resists underground water erosion or weakening due to its industry-leading hydrophobic properties.

Runway Stabilization
Runway Stabilization
URETEK crews worked at night to stabilize the LAX taxiway
Runway Stabilization
URETEK was able to successfully stabilize the area before sunrise