FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Aug. 6, 2001
OAKLAND — Oakland International Airport will close its main runway for repaving for up to 10 days starting at 2 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 10. The airport will remain open during the repaving.
The airport has created a temporary runway so that departing commercial aircraft can avoid flying over Alameda during the construction period. These aircraft will land on the existing runways at North Field.
Although no flight delays are expected, passengers are being urged to allow extra time to reach at the airport because of possible roadway congestion caused by construction vehicles.
Several factors went into selecting the dates for the runway repaving, said Steve Grossman, director of aviation for the Port of Oakland.
The month of August was chosen both to avoid the possibility of weather-related construction delays and so that planes using the North Field runways will not have to fly over San Leandro schools while they are in session. The work is beginning on a weekend, as the airport has fewer cargo flights on Saturdays and Sundays than on other days of the week.
"We are taking every possible step to see that the work is completed as quickly as possible so that we minimize the inconvenience to our neighbors, our airlines and our passengers," said Grossman.
The contractor will pay a penalty of $125,000 every 12 hours if the work is not completed within 10 days. In addition, the contractor will receive a bonus of $125,000 for each 12-hour period - up to a maximum of $1 million - if the work is completed in less than 10 days. There is no maximum penalty if the work is not finished on schedule.
The contractor is Gallagher and Burk, Inc., of Oakland, which submitted a low bid of $16,938,383 on the work.
The airport is taking three extraordinary steps to ease the impact of the closure on the surrounding communities:
- The airport is upgrading a taxiway for use as a temporary runway so that departing air carrier aircraft can avoid flying over Alamedahomes during the construction period. In addition, the temporary runway will reduce the potential for flight delays by eliminating longer taxiing times that would be required if aircraft had to take off from the alternate runways at North Field. The cost of the upgrade is approximately $8 million.
- San Leandro residents who live near the temporary approach patterns are being offered discount airline tickets and tickets for family outings to their choice of 10 area attractions to thank them for their cooperation during the construction period.
- Homebound San Leandro residents can be temporarily relocated to health care facilities if the flight pattern changes are likely to impact their health.
Oakland International Airport has two airfields. The main runway, located at South Field and used by the commercial airlines, is 10,000 feet in length and is closest to the passenger terminal.
North Field has two air carrier runways, one of which is 5,453 feet long and the other, 6,212 feet long. Both of these runways, typically used by corporate jets and smaller general aviation planes, are approved by the FAA for commercial aircraft use.
The temporary runway is only 700 feet from the existing runway, which means that planes can continue to take off over San Francisco Bay during typical weather conditions, creating almost no additional impact on nearby Alameda residents. Without the temporary runway, planes would have to depart from Oakland1s North Field, flying over the Bay Farm Island section of Alameda.
Arriving planes, which typically have less impact on neighboring homes than departing planes, will use flight paths over portions of San Leandro during typical weather conditions. Because it is not feasible to design a temporary runway for incoming planes, the airport has established the special programs for San Leandro residents who live closest to the flight path.
"Our goal is to balance the needs of our neighbors, our airlines and the individuals and businesses who depend on the airport," Grossman added. "We want to thank all of them, as well as the Federal Aviation Administration, for working with us on an innovative package of programs to achieve this goal."
The repaving of the main air carrier runway is necessary to maintain safe operating conditions. The repaved runway is designed to last for 15 years and consists of an asphalt concrete overlay of approximately six inches and a grooved surface to provide additional friction. Runway lights also are being replaced. The last complete repaving was in 1977, more than 20 years ago.
Additional information on the overall project is available on the Internet at http://www.oaklandairport.com/community.html or at 510-577-4692.
In 2000 Oakland International Airport served more than 10.6 million passengers and handled approximately 700,000 metric tons of air cargo. Oakland International has more than 190 daily passenger flights on 12 domestic and international carriers. The airport is a revenue division of the Port of Oakland, an independent department of the City of Oakland.
Note: This is an updated version of a press release originally issued July 23.