Rebuilding the Nation's Busiest Runway and the Nightly Race Against Time

The primary and secondary runways at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) are getting the most major rehabilitation since the airport's opening in 1941. This includes nightly closures to remove and replace the top 8 inches of the pavement structure and to return it to service each morning. The two-year project, nearing the end of the first year of construction, includes placing nearly 200,000 tons of asphalt, installing 7,000 feet of electrical conduit, and replacing 500 airfield lights-and it all happens in just six hours each night.

One of the two runways being rehabilitated, Runway 1-19, has the distinction of being the busiest runway in the United States, with over 800 daily scheduled commercial operations. Due to the shorter length of the airport's other runways (15-33 and 4-22) and minimum runway length requirements for various commercial aircraft operating at DCA, closures of Runway 1-19 are minimized to the greatest extent possible. Closing Runway 1-19 during normal operating hours would result in significant economic impacts to the region.

Learn more about this high stakes project, and the careful engineering and coordination that makes it possible. The presentation will include engineering topics of pavements evaluation, pavement and airfield lighting design, and construction logistics.

WHEN: Tuesday, September 12, 2023, 6:00 PM - 8:30 PM
WHERE: Hilton Arlington, 950 N Stafford St, Arington, VA 22203
COST: $45 (Early Registration by 5/19). $55 (Walk-In/Late Registration after 5/19). $25 Life Members (over 65+). $10 Students.
Attendees received (1.0) Professional Development Hour (PDH).

About the presenters

Mark Buttock, P.E. is a Design Supervisor at the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority where he has worked since 2013. He received a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 1997. Mark leads the design team for the project.

Priyam Shah, P.E. is Construction Department Manager at the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority where he has worked since 2014. He obtained a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering in 2000 from Gujarat University and a Master of Science in Construction Management from Stevens Institute of Technology in 2002. Priyam oversees the construction management team for the project.

What is ASCE-NCS?

Welcome to the website of the National Capital Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), a professional society for civil engineers.  ASCE was founded in 1852, represents 130,000 members of the civil engineering professional worldwide, and is America's oldest national engineering society.

The National Capital Section was founded in 1916 and currently has more than 3,100 members.  The section is located in Region 2 (link to region 2: The National Capital Section serves the District of Columbia; the counties of Montgomery and Prince Georges in Maryland, except College Park in Prince Georges County; the counties of Fairfax and Arlington, and City of Alexandria in Virginia. The National Capital Section's mission includes:

  • To advance the professional knowledge and improve the practice of civil engineering for our members and those we serve.
  • To advocate for our profession with those whose actions affect us, and to educate those whose actions and responsibilities could benefit from a better understanding of the contributions of civil engineers.
  • To improve our community through effective community outreach programs, local involvement and educational efforts.

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