OREANDA-NEWS. Engineering News-Record (ENR), one of the oldest and most respected publications in the engineering and construction industry, has recognized the San Francisco International Airport (SFO) for its Runway Safety Area project, a multi-year program completed ahead of schedule and under budget, which made safety threshold enhancements to all four runways at SFO. In the Airport/Transit category, SFO received the "Best Projects" Award for Runway Safety Area Program Services. SFO will accept the award at an annual event to be held in San Francisco on December 3, 2015.

"The safe, successful completion of our multi-year Runway Safety Area project, ahead of schedule and under budget, validates our partnering approach to construction projects at SFO," said Airport Director John L. Martin. "This significant achievement was the result of our collaboration with airlines, the FAA and construction partners. We are grateful to ENR California for recognizing this accomplishment."

Runway Safety Areas are thresholds at the end of each runway, designed to allow a greater margin of safety for aircraft during both takeoff and landing. Approximately 40 airports across the U.S. were directed to make enhancements to their Runway Safety Areas, including SFO. A federal mandate requires airports to complete all work by December 31, 2015.

SFO began initial construction planning in 2008, and completed enhancements to Runways 28L and 28R in June 2013. The final phase involved the closure of the airport's other two runways, 1L and 1R, for a period of approximately three months, beginning May 17, 2014.

The project on Runways 1L and 1R included the installation of Engineered Material Arresting System (EMAS) blocks, arranged to create a bed of crushable concrete which can safely slow an aircraft should it overshoot a runway. Construction teams installed 22,532 EMAS blocks, and paved over 160,000 tons of asphalt. Runways re-opened on August 10, 2014, one full month ahead of the original schedule and 20 months ahead of federal mandates.