University Letter

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UND apron reconstruction project wins state industry award


Airport construction
Image courtesy of Brendan Scott/Strata Corporation.

The recent reconstruction of flight ramps at Grand Forks International Airport, for UND Flight Operations, is now an award-winning project in the field of construction and concrete.

Reede Construction, the lead contractor on the 2022 project, has been awarded the “Airfield Award” on behalf of the North Dakota Ready Mix & Concrete Products Association. The award is one of several bestowed by the organization’s annual Gold Star Awards.

Selected by a panel of peer judges, the apron reconstruction project was recognized for its difficulty, scope and execution, said Brendan Scott of Strata Corporation, who first notified Reede Construction of its award.

Given the amount of flight traffic UND produces, keeping students and instructors on schedule was an especially impressive feat in the eyes of the judges.

“All of the work was completed while the ramp was kept open for flight operations for UND’s pilot training programs,” Scott said. “Making sure that the entire team was always working together, and working safely, was critical for completion in a timely manner.”

Jeremy Roesler, UND’s interim director of flight operations, thanked the teams involved for helping UND maintain its pace of training throughout construction.

“The work done by Reede Construction, in partnership with engineering from Mead & Hunt, not only improved our ramp infrastructure, but did so with minimal impact on our students,” Roesler said.

Another factor behind the difficulty of the project was meeting Federal Aviation Administration specifications for hard, durable surfaces that less frequently need maintenance and replacement – an issue that plagued the ramps used by UND before the pavement overhaul.

Gary Huber, project superintendent for Reede Construction, said working with UND and GFK Airport staff was the key to success of the project, as was the team’s communication with lead engineers Mead & Hunt, a national consulting group.

“With regular, weekly meetings, we were able to work well together and share ideas – such as combining multiple project phases – to shorten the duration of the project,” Huber said.

Huber offered thanks to now-retired Director of UND Flight Operations Dick Schultz, as well as Brian Larson, director of construction management for UND Facilities Management. He also acknowledged GFK staff, Mead & Hunt personnel and subcontractors who made the project a success.

Reede Construction will accept the award at the NDRM&CPA Annual Convention in January 2024, in Dickinson, N.D.