Fitchburg Municipal Airport Runway 14 Extension & Taxiway D Relocation

Engineering and Environmental Services | Fitchburg Municipal Airport Runway 14 Extension & Taxiway D Relocation

Why GeoInsight

Extension of the existing runway and relocation of a taxiway was planned in a complex setting where the subsurface conditions consisted of miscellaneous solid waste fill underlain by a native sand deposit. We were informed that previous consultants suggested construction over the solid waste fill areas would require complete removal and off-site disposal, which would have required costly and time-consuming permitting and be cost-prohibitive for the project.  Keeping the “big picture” in mind for our client and drawing from our versatile engineering expertise, GeoInsight was able to evaluate the feasibility of other options and identify an alternative approach that allowed the project to progress at a significant cost savings compared to excavation.


SUCCESSFULLY ENGINEERED FOUNDATION SYSTEM FOR CHALLENGING CONDITIONS – Our client approached GeoInsight with this project based upon our proven expertise in foundation engineering and ground improvement solutions.

IMPLEMENTED A COST-EFFECTIVE GEOTECHNICAL SOLUTION – Over-excavation and replacement of the solid waste fill would have been costly, resulted in need for additional environmental permitting, and caused construction delays.  GeoInsight’s solution allowed for reduced project costs and for the project to be completed on-schedule.

“SOLID” FOUNDATION – Upon completion of ground improvement activities, the runway and taxiway were able be supported on firm, stable ground.

Client: Municipality
Location: Fitchburg, MA
Services: Engineering

Scope of Services

  • Site Investigation Activities
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Ground Improvement Design
  • Plan and Specification Preparation
  • Construction Observation­

Project Details

FEASIBILTIY ANALYSIS – We evaluated subsurface data collected by others to identify multiple technically-feasible alternatives for improving the extension/relocation areas.  Our feasibility analysis including preparing an Engineer’s Opinion of Probable costs for each of the selected alternatives for the client’s use in planning for project costs.  We also identified data gaps that required further investigation/testing for final selection of the geotechnical solution.

SUPPLEMENTAL INVESTIGATION AND GEOTECHNICAL SOLUTION SELECTION  – We designed a supplemental subsurface investigation program to further define the extent of unsuitable solid waste fill and buried organics within the project limits, as well as performed supplemental geotechnical testing to provide technical data for ground improvement system design.  Based upon the composition and thickness of the solid waste fill and buried organics, GeoInsight identified the most technically-feasible and cost-effective geotechnical solution for the project to be ground improvement using Rapid Impact Compaction in combination with installation of a geosynthetic subgrade reinforcement layer to support the runway and taxiway pavement section.   

CONSTRUCTION PLANS AND SPECFICATIONS – We prepared plan sheets and technical specifications for the Rapid Impaction Compaction solution.  The construction plans and specifications allowed for the owner to obtain competitive bids for the project.

CONSTRUCTION OBSERVATION – GeoInsight provided full-time oversight of Rapid Impact Compaction ground improvement and installation of the geosynthetic subgrade reinforcement material to confirm the proper implementation of the ground improvement system.  After completion of the construction activities, GeoInsight prepared a summary report documenting compliance with the project specifications.