Denver International Airport De-Ice Pad and Drainage System Construction

On the surface, airfields are so flat, that what lies underneath can provide special surprises. In order to construct Denver International Airport’s De-Ice Pad ‘WA’, a spectacular drainage system was placed. A 950 foot long triple-barrel concrete box culvert, 30’ wide and 16’ high, had to be built in an existing creek bed to provide for major drainage under the new WA taxiway and de-icing pad. Earth fill was placed in depths up to 60 feet, with 120-days allowed for settlement prior to placement of stabilized subgrade and pavement layers, minimizing the potential for pavement settlement in this high fill area.

Ensuring project difficulty, the main fiber-optic cable providing communications to the airport ran through the construction site. This line was raised, suspended, protected and finally re-buried after construction of the box was finished.

For the de-ice pad and taxiway, the project placed 85,000 square yards of 17” concrete pavement over 8” of cement treated base and 12” of cement treated soil, with 2800 lf of trench drain and 2400 lf of surface drains. A de-icing control building was constructed on 100’ caissons along with four glycol dispensing stations, over 4 miles of glycol piping and an 800,000 gallon glycol recovery storage tank. New lighting requirements forced removal and replacement of concrete panels in an intersection where 5 taxiways came together. Construction of a new Vehicle Service Road was also included.