Cost-saving Detroit Metro Airport project honored with Award of Excellence

Posted: 15 February 2012 | Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW) | No comments yet

An innovative road realignment project at DTW, has been honored by the MCA with an Award of Excellence…

Detroit Metropolitan Airport

An innovative road realignment project at Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW), which improved traffic flow and shaved $3.2 million from original estimates, has been honored by the Michigan Concrete Association (MCA) with an Award of Excellence.

The 2011 project initially set out to tackle major rehabilitation of two bridges used by motorists leaving the departures level of DTW’s North Terminal. The airport’s 24/7 operation and the inability to re-route traffic around the proposed construction site posed major construction challenges. During the field survey phase, Wayne County Airport Authority (WCAA) staff worked with the project’s designer, Northwest Consultants, to develop a lower cost alternative which had less impact on the traveling public. The alternate solution was to demolish the first bridge between the North Terminal and the Smith Building and to build a new ramp connecting Upper Rogell Drive to Lower Rogell Drive. The second bridge (in front of the Smith Building) was closed to the public making the costlier rehabilitation of that bridge unnecessary. This solution also addressed a shortage of handicapped parking spaces for administrative offices and provides a more intuitive traffic flow for customers, employees and airport tenants.

“The original estimated cost of this project was more than $5 million,” said Ali Dib, the airport’s Director of Infrastructure Engineering. “The engineered solution saved WCAA $3.2 million in immediate costs and will save future costs associated with bi-annual inspections and maintenance of the bridge which was removed from service.”

“I commend our staff and consultants for their innovative engineering,” said WCAA Interim CEO Tom Naughton. “Their project analysis and modifications not only make the roadway more convenient for our customers, but reduce costs today and in the future.”

The MCA Award of Excellence, in the Industrial Roads and Parking Lots category, was presented February 15, 2012 in Grand Rapids to the Airport Authority, the engineer Northwest Consultants, Inc. and the general contractor DiLisio Contracting. More than 40 projects were submitted in a variety of categories. This is the fifth construction paving award captured by WCAA since 2005.

Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW) welcomed more than 32 million passengers in 2011 and is one of the world’s leading air transportation hubs. With service from 13 scheduled passenger airlines, Michigan’s largest airport offers more than 1,200 flights per day to and from nearly 150 non-stop destinations on four continents. In 2010, DTW ranked highest in overall customer satisfaction among large airports in the J.D. Power and Associates North America Airport Satisfaction Study. With two new state-of-the-art passenger terminals, six jet runways, and an onsite AAA Four-Diamond Westin Hotel, DTW is among the world’s most efficient, customer friendly and operationally capable airports in North America. DTW is operated by Wayne County Airport Authority, which also operates nearby Willow Run Airport—an important corporate, cargo and general aviation facility. The Airport Authority is entirely self-sustaining and does not receive any tax dollars to support airport operations. Visit for more information.

The Michigan Concrete Association (MCA) was formed, in 2009, by the merger of the Michigan Concrete Paving Association (MCPA) and the Michigan Concrete Association (MCA). MCPA was established in 1968 to represent concrete pavement contractors, to promote the use of concrete pavement and to maintain a high standard of workmanship. MCA was originally established in 1952 as a forum for the state’s ready-mixed concrete industry and as an educational resource for consumers. Today, the merged Association includes approximately 220 members.

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