Ireland’s An Taoiseach (prime minister) Micheál Martin today opened the reconstructed main runway at Cork Airport after the fastest large-scale construction project seen in the country in recent years, finishing in 10 weeks and just 12 months after funding approval.
The Irish government contributed €10m to the project, which Cork Airport called the “single biggest investment by any Government” in the facility, which secures it as a strategic asset for the south of Ireland for the next 20 years.
Some 430 people were employed by main contractor Colas, airport operator daa’s integrated delivery partner, Bechtel, and multiple sub-contractors including Atmac Construction, Atkins, Brooklyn Engineering Services, FLI Carlow and Lagan Asphalt Group on the project management, engineering, design and construction of the runway to complete the project on time.
Work involved rebuilding the runway as well as upgrading the airport’s approach, airfield and ground lighting, runway edge and centreline lighting together with drainage and ducting systems.
“It is my great privilege today to officially reopen the newly reconstructed Cork Airport runway and mark the successful delivery of the 10-week reconstruction project,” the Taoiseach said. “This project future-proofs a critically important strategic asset for Cork, the south-west region, and for Ireland for many years to come.”
Niall MacCarthy, Cork Airport’s managing director, said: “The massive runway reconstruction project was completed on schedule and within budget in a 10-week construction period, during which the airport made the brave decision to close completely to undertake the reconstruction works and be delivered in a quicker time, in a safer environment and with less long-term impacts on airlines and passengers than an alternative of night time closures next year over a 10-month period next year.”
Gearoid Lohan, CEO of Colas Ireland, said: “Colas were proud to secure this contract with daa. The daa and Cork Airport deserve great credit for taking the courageous decision to close the airport to deliver this major project. The ability of Colas to draw on skills and experience from around the Colas Group has been a key part of delivering within the condensed and challenging timescale.”