Renewal of the runway and main taxiways of a capital city airport in record time

Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport Runway Rehab, Abuja

On April 17, 2017, Julius Berger Nigeria Plc completed emergency rehabilitation of the existing runway and main taxiways at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, 2 days ahead of schedule, beating the highly challenging 6-week project deadline.

The existing 3.6 km runway and main taxiways, were extensively deteriorated with aged asphalt, wide alligator cracking, shear deformation and widespread pothole formation – posing a risk for take-offs and landings.

To realize the program of works within the highly challenging timeframe, Julius Berger pooled its resources, mobilizing equipment, highly skilled specialist and technical teams from across its operations in Nigeria to achieve a record breaking pace of work. The 400-person strong site team worked around the clock at various stages to complete the milling of 175,000 m² of asphalt and subsequent re-laying of 56,200 tons of new asphalt, at a speed of 4,600 tons per day at peak performance, as well as the installation of 82,300 m² of special fiber glass grid for asphalt reinforcement and the renewal of the runway lighting and markings.

While the construction itself was intensive, project challenges began long before the first machines started their engines. Thorough design studies, seamless planning, scheduling and logistical coordination were all essential aspects of the meticulously planned time schedule. Julius Berger’s global resource network ensured fast track procurement and shipping of 160 tons of project related materials via a fully chartered Boeing 747 cargo plane as well as 4 additional cargo flights, which together, with the sourcing of materials domestically, ensured prompt delivery of required materials to site, making what many thought was impossible, possible.

6 weeks

Construction time

3.6 km

Runway length

45 m


48,000 t

Asphalt milling and new paving

55 t

Installation of fibreglass grid