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WK Dickson & Co., Inc.

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WK Dickson’s Innovative Runway Rehabilitation Project Wins Engineering Excellence Award

Thanks to an innovative rehabilitation and reuse engineering approach for the Laurinburg-Maxton Airport runway, the airport is enjoying an increase in air traffic, retention of existing businesses and military aircraft airport use, and the addition of new business and outside investment from the rehabilitation of what was once categorized as the worst runway in the State of North Carolina. The unique engineering solution enabled the project to be completed for less than 25% of the original cost.

Charlotte, NC, November 17, 2012 --( WK Dickson, a proven leader across the state with aviation engineering design and construction services, has again demonstrated its ability to work in close partnership with an airport commission and local governments to produce a project worthy of award consideration.

Laurinburg-Maxton Airport (LMAC), located in Maxton, NC, is the training base for the US Army Golden Knights as well as an important economic development asset to this area which is working hard to surmount the highest unemployment in the state and in which one in five residents live below the poverty line. The 6,500’ primary runway at LMAC is also used by C-17 military transport planes, the largest of the military transport planes. After decades of service dating back to runway construction during WWII, runway 5/23 had deteriorated to such poor condition that the NCDOT Division of Aviation labeled it the “worst condition runway in the state” with high potential for Foreign Object Debris, an aviation indicator of a very unsafe facility.

Facing the potential loss of military aircraft, the largest user of the airport, and with that, the likely closure of the facility, the airport secured almost $5M in state funding to rebuild the runway. First estimates at $20M appeared to doom the runway rehabilitation and the airport to failure for the project ever got off the ground. Fortunately, LMAC decided to seek a second opinion from WK Dickson on a design approach to bring them within available funding. And WK Dickson delivered with an innovative and sustainable design concept that brought the price within the funding budget and which also met stringent safety and heavy aircraft use requirements. Further enhancing the outcome, WK Dickson also procured a $200k grant from Golden Leaf Tobacco Foundation which reduced LMAC’s match to only $220k.

Now that the rehabilitated runway is complete, LMAC, Scotland County, and Maxton, have been rewarded with a sharp upswing in aircraft operations and fuel sales. In addition, one new industry, FCC North Carolina, committed to opening manufacturing operations in the adjacent Industrial Park, bringing 66 new jobs and $56M in private investment into the area. The continued stability and future growth of the airport will benefit more than 40,000 people once residents, visitors, businesses, and the military are considered.

The project is an overwhelming success by many measures – new jobs, increased military use of the facility, preservation of existing business and other aircraft use of the airport. Such a success is only possible with experienced partnering with airport leadership and responsive and talented consultants. WK Dickson is honored to have been given the opportunity to provide such assistance to Laurinburg-Maxton Airport.

WK Dickson is an Engineering News Record Top 500, multi-disciplined consulting firm specializing in total community infrastructure solutions including: Environmental and Water Resources Engineering; Airport Planning & Design; Community Planning and Development; and Geospatial Technology. Their goal is to help communities improve the lives of its citizens through sound, ecologically responsible design principals. The firm has been headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina since its founding in 1929. It has grown to operate seven regional offices strategically located throughout the Southeastern United States.
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WK Dickson & Co., Inc.
Kraig C. Kern

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