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Oakland Airport finishes first phase of Taxiway upgrade initiative

Friday, February 9, 2024

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Oakland Airport

Oakland International Airport (OAK) has successfully completed the initial stage of its Taxiway W Rehabilitation project, marking a significant milestone in a multi-phase endeavor to enhance one of its most vital taxiways. The first phase saw the refurbishment of around 1,900 feet of Taxiway W, which is the main departure path for the majority of flights from OAK’s main runway. This taxiway serves a diverse range of users, including general aviation, commercial airlines, cargo flights, military operations, and the SF Fleet Week air show. Work on this phase commenced in August 2023 and was largely finished by the end of the year.

The project brought together leading contractors such as AECOM for design and DeSilva Gates Construction, LLC for the construction phase. They were supported by a broad team of subcontractors and suppliers, including Royal Electric Company, which provided photo documentation. The budget for the first phase reached $28.7 million, with $19.2 million of this funding coming from a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) grant through the Airport Improvement Program.

This project was notable for its alignment with the Port of Oakland’s Maritime and Aviation Project Labor Agreement (MAPLA), ensuring the payment of local union wages above the federal minimum and the inclusion of workers from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.

Critical to the project’s success was the engagement with airport stakeholders to design a detailed plan for the construction phases. This collaborative effort led to two innovative strategies during this phase: the use of jet blast deflectors to safely allow construction activity close to operational aircraft, enhancing efficiency while reducing disruptions, and the creation of a temporary bypass taxiway. This ensured uninterrupted access to the main Runway 12-30, allowing operations to continue smoothly throughout the construction period.

Looking ahead, OAK is preparing for the second phase of the Taxiway W Rehabilitation project, which is currently in the bidding process and expected to start in the summer of 2024. This next stage will focus on repairing approximately 5,000 feet of Taxiway W, which is primarily used for arriving flights and also serves departing flights under adverse weather conditions.

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