IND Runway 5L-23R & Taxiway B Rehabilitation Project

The Runway 5L-23R & Taxiway B Rehabilitation Project at the Indianapolis International Airport (IND) has earned an Envision Verified award for sustainability, recognizing significant sustainability achievements across multiple Envision credit categories.

IND has two main parallel runways (“north” and “south”) and a crosswind runway supporting commercial service flights, cargo operations from the second largest FedEx hub in the world, and significant general aviation activity. Airports are responsible for monitoring and maintaining the condition of their airfield infrastructure to enable safe operations. Losing operability of both runways at IND would have had the potential to create a ripple effect through the country’s supply chain. Therefore, Runway 5L-23R had to be capable of withstanding additional air traffic during the south runway’s reconstruction. Prior to the anticipated closure of the south runway, the Indianapolis Airport Authority (IAA) identified the need to rehabilitate the north runway (Runway 5L-23R) and a portion of Taxiway B to limit the risk of losing both runways.1

The IAA can be credited with ensuring the success of this project through extensive planning efforts, recurrent interactions with project stakeholders that impacted design, and the introduction of a phased approach to construction. The work included more than 21,500 square yards of 16-inch-thick and nearly 60,000 square yards of 18-inch-thick concrete pavement replacement, coupled with a myriad of spall repairs, joint sealant repairs, and application of all new pavement markings. Because of this project, the IAA has been able maintain service levels under circumstances where the south runway has been closed for reconstruction.

”Our commitment to sustainability is rooted in action – we see every project as an opportunity to advance and improve environmental stewardship, operational efficiency, social value, and long-term economic viability. This project was no exception,” says the IAA’s Senior Director of Planning and Development, Jarod Klaas.

Todd Cavender, the IAA’s Director, Environment and Sustainability, adds: “We are proud to celebrate our third Envision-verified project across our airport system, following the most recent Envision Platinum award for IND’s Runway 5R-23L & Taxiway D Strengthening and Capacity Enhancement Project.  By prioritizing waste reduction, resource conservation, and resilience in all we do, we hope to be a role model for others in our industry.”

Kristi Wamstad, ISI Verification Director, said: “It is an honor for the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure to recognize the 5L-23R Runway and Taxiway B Rehabilitation Project. The entire project team deserves credit for emphasizing strong collaboration and teamwork around shared project goals.”


Fostering Collaboration and Teamwork. The IAA’s leadership used a proactive approach and a sustainability-focused lens to successfully deliver the project from planning to design to construction. Feedback solicited through IAA’s contractor outreach and stakeholder charrette events informed and shaped sustainability objectives.

Further, project implementation was complicated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The project team maintained and fostered strong collaboration and teamwork with the advent of public health protocols that kept team members from collaborating in person.

Reducing Construction Waste. More than 99% of construction and demolition waste was recycled or reused, exceeding the project-specific goal of 95% waste diversion. Recycled concrete accounted for over 99.2% of the recycled material. Only 2.48 tons of packaging and food waste was disposed. No hazardous waste was generated during the construction phase.

Preserving Water Resources. The project team estimated water usage and wastewater generation over the life of the project, including both the construction and operation phases. During operations water usage is limited to rubber removal and maintaining the runway and taxiway markings.

Reducing water used during construction was an important consideration. The project-specific Sustainability Management Plan (SMP), developed by the contractor and approved by the IAA, included a Water Conservation Plan (WCP). The WCP detailed how the project should evaluate water usage during construction to preserve resources. Among the measures adopted were inspection and maintenance of leak-free tanks, hoses, and fittings, and the use of recycled water for dust control, equipment washing, and manufacturing concrete. Potable water was only to be used when strictly necessary for business operations.

Protecting Surface and Groundwater Quality: Best management practices were implemented during construction to protect the surface and groundwater quality. Additionally, potentially polluting substances were replaced with nonhazardous materials. The project team opted to use water-borne pavement marking paint and concrete curing compounds in lieu of potentially polluting solvent-based materials.

Assessing Climate Change Vulnerability. A detailed climate-related risk assessment was prepared with projections both for 2030 and 2060. The analysis characterized each impact by identifying corresponding risks (low, medium, high), scoring criticality and vulnerability, determining climate causal factors linked to these impacts, as well as detailing adaptation options (resilience strategies).

Improving Systems Integration. Runway 5L-23R was already a component of the infrastructure system that support air operations at IND. With its rehabilitation, the project team took opportunities to create further system integration, efficiency, and redundancy. One example was that the design team, in collaboration with the IAA, was able to use the project as an opportunity to enhance the efficiency and diversity of the safety and security system required for operation of the runway.


Envision-verified Project: IND Runway 5L-23R and Taxiway B Rehabilitation Project
Location: Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
Envision Rating: Verified
Owner: Indianapolis Airport Authority (IAA)
Project Budget: $15.5M
Project Delivery: Design-Bid-Build
Lead Envision Firm: Keramida, Inc.
Project partners: CHA Consulting, Inc. and Milestone Contractors LP
Project Phase: Complete
Award Date: April 3, 2023
More Information: Visit the airport’s website.

  1. Separately, the project team behind the south runway reconstruction project pursued Envision verification. Known as the Runway 5R-23L & Taxiway D Strengthening and Capacity Enhancement Project, that project was awarded Envision Platinum in January 2023. Construction is in progress.
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