Case Study

Building trust and credibility 25 years later: Connico’s impact on CVG Runway 9-27

Almost thirty years ago, Connico was part of a team hired under Espey, Huston & Associates, now known as Atkins, for a project at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG): it was a challenging request to lengthen and update the 9-27 runway that would help shape Connico’s reputation in the industry for years to come. Twenty-five years later, we were re-hired on another team to execute a similar project on the exact same runway at CVG. The first project, early on in our company’s history, allowed us to prove our expertise in the industry and build a reputation that would bring us the opportunity to return to the same project over two decades later.

Building Connico’s credibility at CVG
The original project in 1994 included renovating and lengthening the 9-27 runway by 1500 feet, making it the longest at CVG. The main challenge? The 9-27 runway was the airport’s busiest and most utilized, especially at night for air cargo procedures. The closure of the runway for renovations only left one other runway open for standard airport use, and for a busy airport, this can cause serious delays and congestion. Due to the disruptive nature of this runway operation, it required extensive planning and quick execution.

Connico provided both cost estimating and construction administration services for the project and ensured it was completed in a 10-day window to allow for minimal disruption. The 1994 project allowed us to not only prove our credibility with the contractors and CVG itself, but also grow deeper in our knowledge and understanding of the specifics that pertain to tight airport project schedules.

Returning to 9-27 over 25 years later
Many runways require renovations every 20-30 years, and after the success of Connico’s work on the initial project in 1994, our team was hired under C&S to help with the rehabilitation. The 9-27 runway project in 2021 required new asphalt, concrete and lighting updates. One big difference from the 1994 project was that the airport now had four total runways, so the closure of 9-27 was not as disruptive as before. However, the 9-27 runway was still the airport's longest and most utilized, so the project had to be executed quickly and strategically again.

A project of this magnitude would typically take two construction seasons to complete, but due to a funding opportunity, the airport requested that this project was to be completed in half the time, only leaving the runway closed for about eight months. This minimized the impact the construction had on standard airport patterns and kept operations running as smoothly as possible.

Connico and our partners knew that extensive strategic planning was required for this large undertaking. We understood that necessary resources, like operators and aggregates, for similar projects in the Northern Kentucky area were limited, but we worked closely with the team to find the best possible solutions as obstacles arose throughout the project. Our significant construction scheduling and planning experience and general knowledge of CVG and the surrounding area allowed us to have unique insight into the planning process, which aided CVG to strategize their plan more effectively.

At the beginning of the project, there were multiple delays that put the work behind schedule. Our team’s comprehensive planning and quick solutions enabled the project to move forward quickly, saving the airport roughly 60 days of additional delays, which translated into real cost savings of more than $1M dollars for our client. The 9-27 runway project was a full circle moment for us and allowed our team to return to a project that initially solidified our reputation in aviation construction as a knowledgeable and effective firm for over 30 years in the making.