Boston Logan Is The First Airport to Use a Green Asphalt Runway
Warm Mix Asphalt Repaving to be Completed This Weekend
Boston Logan International Airport's first-in-the-nation use of environmentally friendly asphalt to completely repave a runway is expected to be substantially complete this weekend, as crews lay down the last batch of "warm mix" asphalt on Runway 9/27.
The $12.5 million project which received federal stimulus funding was started in July and this is the last scheduled weekend “ weather permitting" -- for milling and repaving work. The 7,000 foot long runway has been closed for seven weekends to mill and repave the surface which is 150 feet wide.
Because of runway closure, other runway configurations were used to safely accommodate operations. There may be some more short-term closures of Runway 9/27 as grooving and painting takes place before the project is complete later this year. As a result, residents from neighboring communities may continue to experience an increase or decrease in the number of over flights during the project.
Runway 9/27 is the first US runway to be completely repaved with so-called "warm mix" asphalt which is heated to between 250 and 275 degrees, some 75 to 50 degrees less than traditional "hot mix" asphalt. The difference on this project will result in the reduction of nearly 4,000 tons of carbon dioxide, the savings of about 400,000 gallons of diesel fuel, and produce an energy savings of about 53 billion Btus. Another environmental benefit is up to 20 percent of the new asphalt will be made from recycled asphalt
"Warm mix uses 20% less energy to fabricate, produces 20% fewer greenhouse emissions, and allows us to use more recycled asphalt pavement in the final product," said Thomas J. Kinton Jr., Massport CEO & Executive Director. "This project, like so many others, is an example of Massport leading the way as an airport operator to reduce our impact on the environment when we can do so in an financially responsible way."
Warm mix asphalt has been used at European airports. Runway paving projects in the U.S. must meet stringent Federal Aviation Administration standards. The warm mix was first tested at Logan on a taxiway and apron areas with FAA oversight before the airport received permission to use it on the outer 37.5 feet of the edges of Runway 22L last summer.
Because warm mix asphalt is not heated as high, the work environment is better for the crews installing the new pavement. Thermal and air emissions are lessened both on site and at the plant where it is produced Aggregate Industries in Saugus. The manufacturing process also reduces dust and NOx emissions.
Boston Logan serves as the gateway to the New England region and offers nonstop service to more than 71 domestic and 32 international destinations and in 2008 handled 26.1 million passengers. Boston Logan is the Air Line Pilot Association's Airport of the Year for 2008 because of its commitment to safety. Over the past decade, the airport has spent $4.4 billion on a modernization program that includes new terminals, parking facilities, roadways and airport concessions, and has transformed the airport into a world-class 21st Century facility