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Time flies for Dane County airport project

Expansions of parking structures tend to be straight-forward projects.

But that wasn’t the case when the Dane County Regional Airport in Madison decided to add a three-level, 469,155-foot expansion to the west side of its current parking structure.

“You’re working not only at an active airport where you need to follow FAA regulations, but you also need to make sure there’s still enough available parking for the airport’s customers while the expansion is going on,” said Jason Recob, who served as project manager for Miron Construction on the $20.5 million project. “Communication and scheduling were vital throughout the project. We were constantly looking ahead and planning the next milestones and communicating that to everyone.”

For example, 550-ton and 350-ton cranes were used on the project. Because of FAA rules, the radiuses and placements of each had to be carefully considered.

“We had to work in some tight quarters,” Recob said, adding that the cranes sometimes worked in separate areas or worked together to lift into place pre-cast, double-tee concrete planks weighing 65,000 pounds each.

While the expansion was being built, crews also renovated the current structure. That work added an extra twist to the project, Recob said.

“We had to coordinate that between the expansion work and the renovation work that we always had 3,200 parking stalls available,” he said. “We had to check each stall we were planning to close three weeks in advance since a customer could be there two days or two weeks. We didn’t want to inconvenience any customers.”

The planning worked well and Recob proudly said not one vehicle needed to be towed so the construction work could continue.

During a period of 16 weeks, 1,500 pieces of pre-cast concrete were set into place, said Dan Windorski of GRAEF, which oversaw engineering and was the project’s main controlling design partner. Given the tight space available on site, everything needed to be carefully coordinated from delivery to staging to moving the pieces into their final places, he said.

One of the first steps taken on the project was creating a separate parking area for airport employees, including pilots, he said. That created additional capacity in the parking structure for visitors.

“It all came down to planning and communication that we were all on the same page,” Windorski said. “From the very beginning everything was mapped out, which is why I think the project was so successful.”


Dane County Regional Airport – Parking Expansion

Location: Madison, Wisconsin

Project size: 469,155 new square feet and 603,232 renovated square feet

Project cost: $20,572,022 million

Start date: April 2014

Completion date: May 2015

Submitting company: Miron Construction

General contractor: Miron Construction

Architect: Eppstein Uhen Architects

Engineer: GRAEF

Owner: Dane County Regional Airport

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