In 1969, the City of Atlanta - Department of Aviation had before it a great dilemma. The main runway at the time needed major rehabilitation work. Time constraints required that if the runway was to be closed during construction, the project had to be completed within 40 days.
The contract was awarded on September 15, 1969, for $7.72 million to joint venture Claussen-Lawrence Construction Co., Southeastern Highway Contracting Co., and Ames & Webb Inc. On October 1 almost $9 million worth of construction equipment, 500 construction workers, and more than 70 inspectors were on hand to begin demolition of the old pavement and construction of the new 325,000-square-yard runway and parallel taxiway. Paving began 11 days into the project and continued 24 hours a day for the remainder of the project. On November 10, 1969 - exactly 40 days after the project began - the runway was reopened to traffic.
This project marked the first time that slipform paving was used on such a large scale for airport pavement construction. And with a thickness of 16 inches, the runway was the thickest pavement ever to be slipformed. The latest nondestructive testing evaluation of Atlanta's runways shows that they are still in good condition and will continue to be in service for at least another three to five years.