FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (Oct. 26, 2020) — The runway at Fort Leonard Wood’s Forney Airfield — which also serves as Waynesville-St. Robert Regional Airport — was closed for five days earlier this month while contractors repaired 12 cracks in the pavement that began appearing last year.
According to Aviation Safety Officer Allen Moll, the cracks were transverse — meaning they ran across the width of the runway — and appeared where aircraft typically touch down.
“They started at about 2 inches wide,” he said. “They were 5 inches wide by early spring (this year).”
Moll said an uptick in usage over the past year is a likely culprit in the cause of the problem for the 6,037-foot runway.
“We have had an increase in traffic supporting the military sterile COVID-19 flights,” he said. “These aircraft are heavier and create more wear and tear on the runway.”
To solve the problem, the Fort Leonard Wood Directorate of Public Works brought in contractors to make all necessary repairs.
“The runway was milled down to the bottom of the pavement at an average of 10 feet wide,” said J.D. Bales, DPW Engineering Design Branch chief.
Bales said this was the first year the runway developed cracks that wide, but the repairs ensure the safety of everyone using the airfield.
About Fort Leonard Wood
Fort Leonard Wood is a thriving and prosperous installation that has evolved from a small basic training post more than 75 years ago to a premier Army Center of Excellence that trains more than 80,000 military and civilians each year.
Fort Leonard Wood is home to the U.S Army Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and three U.S. Army schools: the U.S. Army Engineer School; U.S. Army Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear School; and the U.S. Army Military Police School. In addition to training engineer, CBRN and military police specialties for the Army, Fort Leonard Wood also provides gender-integrated in-processing and Basic Combat Training for new Soldiers.
Fort Leonard Wood also hosts and trains with the largest Marine Corps Detachment and Air Force Squadron on any Army installation as well as a large Navy construction detachment.
More information about Fort Leonard Wood is at: https://home.army.mil/wood/index.php/about/mission