In many communities, a million-dollar concrete remediation contract would represent a project of significant scope. At the massive 5 Wing Goose Bay airfield in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, N.L., it represents a small but necessary patch job on the aircraft ramp and parking apron adjacent to the terminal.
The project is part of a series of contracts totaling $6.2 million announced this summer by the federal government for Department of National Defence and Canadian Forces infrastructure initiatives under the Goose Bay Remediation Project (GBRP).
The $1 million concrete contract was awarded to Crown Contracting Inc. of Mount Pearl, N.L.
Other projects include a $1 million roof repair contract for the base’s Joint Training Centre and ongoing remediation and decontamination efforts under the GBRP, announced in 2009.
That umbrella project includes several sub-projects, which were initiated to address contamination issues at the base, primarily attributed to historic storage and handling practices of contaminants such as hydrocarbons, heavy metals, chlorinated compounds (PCBs), and pesticides, including DDT.
The remediation projects include fence installation, fuel recovery, upgrades to a fuel transfer area, soil and site remediation, environmental drilling, risk assessment, and survey work.
The base has been home to a continuous military presence since the Second World War and currently handles 35,000 takeoffs and landings per year.
In 2011, more than 700 military aircraft accounted for about 3,000 of those air movements.
Aircraft using the airfield include anything from smaller Cessnas to commercial aircraft and the Antonov 223, one of the largest military planes in existence.
“Essentially, the big concrete project was a giant repair effort aimed at the concrete surface of the ramps, where the aircraft are parked,” said Capt. Chris Greaves, Officer Commanding Quality Control.
“However, this is a massive airport and that work doesn’t begin to cover all of the ramp space, just the areas that are most heavily used, particularly across the joints.”
The project specifies concrete removal to a depth of four inches, and resurfacing of those areas. The concrete material removed will be used as fill in other base construction projects.
“For this portion of the concrete, it’s simply time that has taken its toll on the airfield,” said Greaves.
The 5 Wing Goose Bay airfield is located in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, N.L.
“Our current infrastructure was built, by and large, in the 1950s, and it’s beginning to show that age.”
Greaves noted that the concrete contract represents only a temporary solution for the aging ramp, which he said will require complete replacement within the next few years.
“The actual depth of the concrete on the apron is 16 inches, so the four-inch depth represents only the degraded portion,” he says.
“This will get us through until we do a full replacement.”
Concrete for the project is being supplied locally by Labrador Concrete Products and represents a significant ramping up of production.
“It’s probably the biggest project in Goose Bay this year,” said company owner Fred Penney.
“In addition to other projects we’re supplying, the guys working on the 5 Wing project can take from 80 to 95 cubic metres per day.”