Demolition and removal of the old concrete from the aircraft parking ramp between Terminal concourses A and B is underway as the ramp replacement project moves into Phase 2.
Phase 1, the courtyard between B and C concourses, was completed last month after inclement weather and other unforeseen conditions added about five months to the project.
Approximately 20 acres or 113,000 square yards of worn-out 40-50 year old concrete is being replaced in this Phase, which is expected to take 13 months. Contractors will pour between several hundred and 2,000 square yards of new concrete in a day. The temperature must be forecast to remain above 35 degrees Fahrenheit for three days before the contractors will pour a large section. This will allow the water in the concrete time to cure out so it won’t freeze. The finished concrete will be 18-inches thick above 22-inches of new base material.
As in the previous phase, all of the old materials including concrete, dirt, rebar and pipes will be recycled.
Passengers will not be impacted even though aircraft parking for flights in the B concourse will shift to the newly completed ramp on the east side of the concourse during this phase.
Also, the Engineered Material Arresting System (EMAS) project was completed on-schedule last month providing an extra margin of safety for aircraft landing on MEM’s Runway 18R. The system consists of a bed of crushable concrete blocks installed at the end of the runway to stop an overrunning aircraft. These act similar to truck run-up ramps on mountainous highways. The aircraft tires will sink into the blocks and quickly decelerate. The Federal Aviation Administration now asks all airports to install this safety improvement on runways that don’t have a standard 1,000-foot safety area between the runway end and obstacles such as roads. Runway 18R does not have the full 1,000-foot distance between it and Shelby Drive at Airways Blvd. since the runway was constructed prior to the adoption of FAA’s newer safety standard.