Express reconstruction

25 April 2008

When Beijing’s 18.7 km long Airport Expressway, which links the airport to the city’s 3rd Ring Road, opened 13 years ago, it slashed journey times to the city from an hour to 15 minutes. But more than 41 million passengers now use the airport each year and surface of the Airport Expressway was beginning to show signs of wear from the high volume of traffic that now uses the link each day.

Because the expressway is the main route to the airport, closing the link during the day was not possible so No.3 Engineering Company undertook the repairs during a series of overnight closures. The contractor had just 66 days to complete the work in order for it to be completed in advance of the opening of the new passenger terminal at the airport early next year.

Sub-contractor Xuzhou Kaiyuan Senior Highway Maintenance used a fleet of six Wirtgen W 2000 cold milling machines were used to remove more than 50000 tonnes of worn asphalt from the expressway. A section 1 km long, 12 m wide and up to 80 mm deep was removed during each night’s possession. The milling machines were followed by pavers laying the new asphalt to enable the completed section to be trafficked the following morning.

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