Runway Reopens at Dover Air Force Base - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Runway Reopens at Dover Air Force Base

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Dover Air Force Base on Friday began welcoming home its C-5 planes following an extensive runway renovation that forced them to be temporarily moved to New Jersey. (Photo: WBOC) Dover Air Force Base on Friday began welcoming home its C-5 planes following an extensive runway renovation that forced them to be temporarily moved to New Jersey. (Photo: WBOC)
Col. Ethan Griffin, 436th Airlift Wing commander and installation commander, at center with scissors in hand, presided over Friday's ribbon-cutting ceremonythat included several dignitaries including U.S. senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons. (Photo: WBOC) Col. Ethan Griffin, 436th Airlift Wing commander and installation commander, at center with scissors in hand, presided over Friday's ribbon-cutting ceremonythat included several dignitaries including U.S. senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons. (Photo: WBOC)
Col. Ethan Griffin, 436th Airlift Wing commander and installation commander, was the first speaker at Friday's ribbon-cutting ceremony. (Photo: WBOC) Col. Ethan Griffin, 436th Airlift Wing commander and installation commander, was the first speaker at Friday's ribbon-cutting ceremony. (Photo: WBOC)

DOVER, Del. (AP/WBOC)- Dover Air Force Base is welcoming home its fleet of giant C-5 cargo planes following an extensive runway renovation that forced them to be temporarily moved to New Jersey.
    
Dover's north-south runway has been closed for a year and a half, and its 18 C-5s were moved to Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey in February of this year after construction temporarily cut the length of a second runway from 12,900 feet to 6,000 feet, limiting the operational capabilities of Dover's C-5 aircraft.

Air Force officials told WBOC it was only a matter of time until the former version of the runway would become too dangerous to use.

"It was on the verge of collapse," said Lt. Kevin Golart, Commander of the Civil Engineering Squadron.  "If we hadn't fixed the runway, we were at risk of losing it completely."

One of the biggest problems facing the old runway was poor drainage.  Golart said that was fixed by raising the entire nearly two-mile-long stretch of pavement. 

"This is going to modernize our runway and give us another 50 to 75 years before we need to do this again," said Golart.
    
Col. Ethan Griffin, 436th Airlift Wing commander and installation commander presided over a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday that marked the reopening of the north-south runway at Dover, which is also home to a fleet of smaller C-17 cargo aircraft.
    
Construction continues on the second runway and several taxiways as part of a $102 million project expected to be completed next summer.

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