Apr 19, 2013 5:29 PM by MELISSA CANONE
LAFAYETTE, La. - The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) was represented by Secretary Sherri H. LeBas, P.E., at a press conference today to mark the completion of the Lafayette Regional runway improvement project.
Because of the airport runway's close proximity to the Vermillion River, the existing Runway Safety Area (RSA) did not meet the standard safety area requirements of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). To meet these requirements, this project installed Engineered Material Arresting System (EMAS) beds that consist of light-weight crushable concrete to provide a safe and controlled stop for aircraft.
"I am proud to represent DOTD as we celebrate the completion of a project that will contribute to the enhancement of travel throughout the Acadiana region," said DOTD Secretary LeBas. "I know how important the Lafayette Regional Airport is to the area, and I believe the new runway improvement project will provide safety to the airport and its users."
When an aircraft rolls into an EMAS bed, the tires of the aircraft sink into the lightweight concrete and the aircraft is decelerated by having to roll through material. The project consisted of many improvements to the existing runway safety area including the extension of the runway and taxiway. Work on the $8.7 million project started in December 2010.
"This safety enhancement is an important one to an active airport," said Lafayette Regional Airport's Director of Aviation Greg Roberts. "It was a large-scale project that will ultimately make our airport safer for passengers and the airlines who fly Lafayette."
"We are appreciative of the efforts of Acadiana's legislative delegation who work closely with the airport staff and commissioners to obtain the funding for projects like this that improve our airport," said Lafayette Airport Commission Chairman Carroll Robichaux, Jr. "Their efforts to secure state and federal funding make it possible to undertake projects like the EMAS that we would not otherwise afford."
DOTD is committed to delivering transportation and public works systems that enhance the quality of life. In addition to more than 16,600 miles of roadway, including over 930 miles of interstate, DOTD supports the development of the state's aviation, marine and rail infrastructures. Through this work, we are able to facilitate economic development, create job opportunities, improve vital evacuation routes, and make critical freight corridors safer and more efficient.
For more information about Work Zone Awareness or the department in general, please visit www.dotd.la.gov, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call DOTD's Customer Service Center at (225) 379-1232 or 1-877-4LADOTD (1-877-452-3683). Business hours are 7:30 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Motorists can access up-to-date travel information by dialing 511 or by visiting www.511la.org. Out of-state travelers can call 1-888-ROAD-511 (1-888-762-3511).