Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) temporarily closed one of its four runways and two taxiways to allow them to undergo a $17.3 million renovation beginning February 26, 2021. In a statement seen by Simple Flying, Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) said it is temporarily closing runway 7R/25L and two taxiways on the south side of the airport.
According to LAWA, the work will involve the removal and replacement of 6,000 feet of runway 7R/25Ls asphalt along with taxiways H6 and H7. None of the work is expected to have any impact on LAXs arriving and departing flights. In addition to the new asphalt overlay, LAWA will be adding the latest energy-efficient LED lighting along the runway’s centerline. LAWA has set a time frame of two months to get the work done, meaning that runway 7R/25L and taxiways H6 and H7 will be operational again by early May.
The work will cost LAX $17.3 million
“At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, we challenged ourselves to use this time of a reduction in air traffic to complete repairs and airfield improvements more efficiently than ever before,” said Bernardo Gogna, Chief Development Officer, Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) in the press release.
“The replacement of the asphalt on Runway 7R/25L is an example of how we are investing in the long-term health of our airport and completing work that would have been much more disruptive if done when we were operating at full capacity.”
Brea, California-based Sully-Miller Contracting Co has been awarded the contract and will carry out the refurbishment at the cost of $17.37 million. Also included in the project is the replacement of concrete approach slabs at the bridge over Sepulveda Boulevard. By adding the latest LED lighting technology, energy costs and maintenance will see a significant reduction. With advancements in the material used for runway building, the work being done to 7R/25L should keep the runway open for at least the next ten years.
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Runway 7/R25L will handle all flights
Runway 7R/25L is LAXs preferred runway for arriving aircraft, while parallel runway 7L/25R is the preferred choice for departures as it is closer to the terminal buildings. When 7R/25L is a non-operational runway, 7L/25R will handle both arriving and departing flights. Some arrivals may, however, be moved to the north runway complex.
Runway resurfacing work is usually done every 10 to 12 years as the runway’s surface reaches the end of the time span it was designed for. Because of runway 7R/25Ls location, noise impacts are expected to be minimal, and overnight over-ocean operations will not be affected.
Other airports are doing runway resurfacing
With COVID-19 having a devasting effect on air travel and the number of people flying, it is surprising that we have not heard of other major airports not undertaking runway resurfacing. We know of Wellington International Airport (WLG) in New Zealand, which should have just been completed, and Florence Airport (FLR) in Italy. Florence Airport decided to close for runway resurfacing and redirect flights to Pisa International Airport (PSA) and Bologna Airport (BLQ). FLA is currently scheduled to reopen on March 1, 2021.
What do you think about LAX closing runway 7R/25L? If you know of any other major airports that have done a similar thing, please tell us about them in the comments.