Runway Past Stories

​Runway Nearing Completion

September, 2014

​Workers putting the finishing touches on the recently poured concrete top layer.
​Applying the adhesive before placing the block of the Engineered Material Arresting System.
​Machine cutting the concrete to install the edge lights.
​Terminal 4 main concourse under construction looking towards the existing Concourse H.
​Work on the exit to Port Everglades and I-595 from US 1 northbound.

​Hilton Demo Almost Complete

June 19, 2014

Crews weakened the central structure of the hotel by removing walls and beams. They then pull edit down with cables and excavators. Mid section of the Hilton Hotel is demolished
An excavator works to separate the concrete from the other debris. They will recycle the concrete. Demo work continues on the west end of the hotel
Workers prepare the structure's wall for painting. Worker prepare the structure walls for painting
A crew places the rebar at the bottom of an approach slab. Next, they will pour concrete above the rebar creating an approach slab. These slabs are next to the structures. Workers place the rebar in the approach slabs next to the structures

Hilton Demo Begins and Embankment Nearing The End

April 25, 2014

Demolition of the Hilton Hotel began on April 18. Bobcats in the upper floors remove the interior walls and dump it down to the ground. The excavator separates the recyclable materials.

Hilton Demolition
Workers add dirt fill behind the south wall section just east of US 1. As the dirt rises, they will add panels to the wall until it reaches the final height. Embankment work
Workers install the threshold lighting at the eastern end of the runway. To the left will be the concrete runway. To the right, workers will install the Emergency Material Arresting System (EMAS). The EMAS will stop an airliner. Work on the eastern end threshold lighting
These are the taxiway structures looking north from the top of the runway. All the concrete decks are completed. Workers are installing the lighting, life safety systems, and fire alarms in the structures. Traffic on US 1 is on the right side and the FEC Railroad tracks directly below. Taxiway structures
This westerly view is looking down the slope of the runway. The concrete base layer has been poured. The concrete top layer (16.5 inches thick) is visible on the right side of the photo. Workers pour the concrete in sections 15 feet wide. The FAA Control Tower is also on the right side center of the photo. Runway pavement looking west down the slope

Work Progressing on Structures and Runway

February 21, 2014

Workers are welding metal strips to the concrete beams on the top of the FEC structure. Next, they will weld metal plates to the strips creating a surface to pour the concrete deck. Worker preparing the runway deck for concrete pouring
One method of ground preparation is stone columns. The first step is to drill holes into the ground. Next, the holes will be filled with small rocks. These stone columns will support the runway. In the background is the Terminal 4 construction. Stone columns to support the midfield portion of the runway.
This worker is cutting the top layer of concrete to create a smooth edge to join with the next concrete section. A 6 inch concrete base layer supports atop layer that is 16.5 inches thick. Worker cutting concrete on the runway top layer preparing for the next pour
Final grading of the runway shoulder taking place. Workers will pour asphalt next to the outer edge of the concrete runway. This is the far western section of the runway. Final grading of the runway shoulder

Hilton Garage Demolition Begins

January 14, 2014

The first phase of the demolition of the Hilton Hotel began on Monday, January 6, with the demolition of the two story parking garage. The demo of the garage and removal of the debris will take about one month. It will take an additional four months to restore the property.
Beginning of the garage demolition

Crews have removed most of the debris from the garage. The second and final phase is the demolition of the actual hotel that will start in early April. The hotel is still operational.

Aerial view of the garage demo nearing complettion
Back in December 2013, crews demolished the building that previously housed the Dania Boat Sales (see the story below). This property is just west of the hotel. Hotel guests now use this area for parking. Aerial view of the demo with the airport in the background

US 1 Moved Under Runway And Taxiway Structures

January 10, 2014

Traffic on US 1 near FLL shifted west into the runway and taxiway structures. The shift is part of the reconfiguration of traffic flow for US 1 in conjunction with the South Runway Project. The traffic shift occurred just north of Griffin Road.

US 1 lane shift into the structures Construction crews have been completing the structures in anticipation of the traffic shift. The work has included testing the life safety support equipment including emergency lighting, fire suppression (water and foam) and ventilation. There will be two northbound and two southbound lanes.

Runway/Taxiway Structure Interesting Facts:

  • A runway structure is 810 feet long. There are six runway structures.
  • Each taxiway structure is 440 feet long. There are six taxiway structures.
  • The average height clearance is 24 feet in each structure.
  • Each runway structure has four individual evacuation and ventilation systems.
  • There are 134 fluorescent and 290-1,000 watt metal halide lights in each runway structure.
  • There are 94 fluorescent and 269-1,000 watt metal halide lights in each taxiway structure.

Substantial completion of the South Runway Project is set for September 2014.

View looking north into the runway structure with US 1
View of US 1 looking north into the runway structure.
View looking north from US 1 in the runway structure
View of US 1 looking north from inside the runway structure. Northbound traffic is in the right lane.
View of US 1 looking south into the taxiway structure
View of US 1 looking south into the taxiway structure. Northbound traffic is in the left lane.

Demolition Work Begins

December 10, 2013

A demolition company began removing the building that previously housed Dania Boat Sales. This building, the Hilton Hotel, and parking garage are in the runway protection zone of the South Runway under construction. They must be demolished to open the runway in late 2014. The protection zone must be free of any obstacles for planes to take off and land on the new runway.

Piling the debris from the Dania Boats Sales building Demo of the Dania Boat Sales buidling

Crews will demolish the hotel’s garage in January, 2014 followed by the eight-story hotel in April, 2014. The demo of the garage and removal of the debris will take about one month. It will take an additional four months to restore the property.

The properties are located just east of I-95 and north of Griffin Road.

Broward County Aviation Department acquired the properties as part of the runway construction. They contracted with a company to demolish the buildings.

Sky Waves Pedestrian Bridges Under Construction

November 26, 2013

Work recently started to refurbish and remodel the four Pedestrian Bridges connecting the garages to Terminals 2, 3, and 4. The bridges are temporarily closed for construction. Signs direct travelers to the ticketing and baggage claim levels. Pedestrian brigde under construction
Bridge under construction.
When completed in the 2nd Quarter of 2014, the bridges will serve as a visual gateway to the terminals with artwork integrated into the design. Artist Laurie Lundquist was selected in an open competition. The most dramatic design features are the “Sky Wave” roof canopy, openness, lighting, and curved guardrails. Waves, wind, and motion inspired the design creating a structure that communicates a sense of enjoyment. Artist rendering of the completed pedestrian bridge
Artist rendering of completed bridge.

South Runway Update

September 25, 2013

The construction of the South Runway is about a year away from substantial completion. Below is an update on the four major aspects of the project.

Workers preparing runway deck for concrete pouring Workers preparing the taxiway deck for the concrete pouring. This will be the US 1 northbound tunnel.

1. Site Preparation & NAVAIDS Infrastructure

  • The embankment (including surcharge) is over 80 feet above the ground in some locations.
  • Overall, 60 percent of the total embankment for the runway is in place.
  • Forty-nine percent of the Mechanically Stabilized Earth (MSE) Wall in place as of July 30, 2013.
  • The MSE Wall has been installed up to 50 feet high.
  • Permanent closure of the Diagonal Runway (13-31).
  • Clearing and grubbing is complete.
  • Removal of asphalt pavement is complete.
  • Removal of existing drainage has started.
  • Ground improvements have started.

2. Runway Structures (As of August 25, 2013)

  • Crews have installed about 43 percent of the structure support beams.
  • About 89 percent of the runway walls and caps have been installed.
  • Approximately 98 percent of concrete piles have been installed.
  • About 76 percent of the taxiway walls, columns and caps are complete.
  • 10th Street is 99 percent complete.
  • 7th Avenue is 90 percent complete.
  • Demo of the former southbound US-1 exit is complete.
  • Construction has started on the new southbound US-1 exit.
  • Braided Ramp construction is 15 percent complete.

3. Runway and Taxiway Paving, Lighting, Signage & Marking

  • Project awarded to Archer-Western for $87.7 million.
  • Concrete Batch Plant was assembled.
  • Testing concrete samples.
  • Paving will start in October.

This aspect of the project involves:

  • 477,000 square yards of concrete paving
  • 57,000 tons of bituminous paving
  • 510,000 square feet of runway/taxiway painting
  • 154,000 square yards of pavement demolition
  • 850,000 linear feet of electrical cable

4. Demo of Hilton Hotel & Dania Boat Sales

  • Hilton Hotel:
    i. Demolition starts April 1, 2014
    ii. Estimated Substantial Completion May 16, 2014
  • Demolition of the Dania Boat Sales starts after November 15, 2013
  • Demolition of the Hilton Hotel parking structure starts after December 15, 2013


Concrete Plant Assembled On-Site

September 9, 2013

Workers from Archer Western recently assembled a concrete plant that will produce the concrete for the South Runway project. About 480,000 square yards of concrete will be needed to build the 8,000 x 150 foot runway, taxiways, and aircraft holding aprons. This is enough concrete to build a two lane highway 24 feet wide x 34 miles long.

This plant is mobile and moves to different construction sites. It was trucked to FLL in several segments and then assembled similar to an erector set. The photos show the wheels built into the segments.

Concrete Plant at FLL Concrete plant at FLL
Concrete plant at FLL Concrete plant at FLL

Before the paving begins in late September, Archer Western will prepare numerous concrete samples for testing so that it meets strict requirements. Dump trucks will transport the concrete from the plant to a specialized paving machine that will cast the concrete to form the runway and taxiways.

Radar Tower Demolished

July 30, 2013

An old radar tower was demolished to make room for the new South Runway. Workers removed bolts and cut the tower's steel supports to prepare for the demolition. An excavator (off the photo) then pulled down the tower with a cable. The cable is to the right of the tower. Over the next several weeks, crews will break up the tower, demolish the building behind it, and then remove the debris. Click on the image for a larger version.

Radar Tower Photo 1 Radar Tower Photo 2
Radar Tower Photo 3 Radar Tower Photo 4
Radar Tower Photo 5 Radar Tower Photo 6
Radar Tower Photo 7 Radar Tower Photo 8
Radar Tower Photo 9 Radar Tower Photo 10
Radar Tower Photo 11 Radar Tower Photo 12

Milestones Reached in Construction

July 12, 2013

Beam placement on the tunnel walls

Crews placed the first beams across the walls of the southbound US 1 tunnel. Click on the image for a larger version.

Beams Placed Across Tunnel Walls
Workers placed the first concrete beams across the walls of the US 1 southbound tunnel. More than 850 beams will form the tunnel roofs and runway/taxiway decks in the 12 tunnels. By the end of 2013, vehicles in the southbound and northbound US 1 lanes will shift from the temporary detour and go through the tunnels.

Hilton Acquisition

The second major milestone is the completed negotiation to acquire the Hilton Hotel and Dania Boat Sales. Both properties are in the Runway Protection Zone and will be demolished in 2014.

$26 Million in Grants Received

At the end of June, FLL received a $20 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation for the South Runway Project. They will contribute a total of $250 for the project but are awarding the grant in installments over 12 years.

Also in June, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) awarded FLL a $6 million grant. FDOT will contribute a total of $129 million for the runway over the next several years.

The total cost of the South Runway Project is estimated at $791 million. The remaining funds for the runway will come from passenger facility charges.


The Airport is monetarily self-supporting. The Aviation Department does not use any Broward County tax revenue to fund the operations, maintenance, or capital improvements. The Aviation Department generates funds through user fees, rentals, and other charges. Fees and grants (state and federal) fund the capital improvement projects. Any surpluses are reinvested into the airport facilities.

Partial Closure of the Greenbelt

April 17, 2013

A section of the Greenbelt will close to allow work associated with the expansion of the South Runway. Starting the week of April 29, 2013, construction crews will install a temporary safety fence along the Greenbelt’s north border and northwest section.

The 30-acre Greenbelt is a landscaped earth berm. The berm marks the airport's southern boundary running from the Dania Cut-Off Canal eastward. The vehicular entrance is located at the intersection of Griffin Road and Northwest 10th Street. The Greenbelt serves the community by providing a passive park containing a viewing area, walking path, diverse vegetation, and wetland areas.

The majority of the Greenbelt will remain open from sunrise to sunset including the parking lot, walkway east of the parking lot, and the walkway under Griffin Road.

Once construction workers install the safety fence, they will begin the following work:

  • Install new water and sanitary utilities along the Greenbelt’s north border.
  • Relocate a portion of the Airport’s service road into the northwest section of the Greenbelt.
  • Relocate trees in the path of the utilities and the relocated road. Crews will replant the trees in the Greenbelt, Airport property, North Perry Airport, and Markham Park.
  • Add landscaping and walkways.
  • Install a permanent security fence once the construction is completed in the summer of 2014.

View a map (PDF) showing the construction area of the Greenbelt.

South Runway Expansion Update

March 15, 2013

Site Preparation and Navigational Aids Infrastructure

  • Odebrecht/Central Florida Joint Venture (OCJV) continues to perform dynamic compaction to the runway to improve soil west of US-1.
  • Trucks continue to haul embankment fill east of US-1.
  • The mechanical stabilized earth (MSE) wall rises east of US-1.
  • Approximately 145,000 square feet out of 323,500 square feet, or about 45%, of the Runway MSE wall has been completed.
  • Just over 2.7 million cubic yards out of 5.5 million cubic yards, or about 49%, of the embankment fill work has been completed.

Construction Project Manager

  • Parsons Transportation Group is providing construction project management and inspection services for the ongoing runway construction projects. They also oversee the materials testing performed by PSI, Inc.

Construction of the Runway/Taxiway Bridge Structures

  • Tutor-Perini/Baker Joint Venture (TP) has relocated US-1 north and south bound lanes.
  • Work continues on the foundations, including driving piles, pouring bridge walls, and placing embankment fill west of Perimeter Road.
  • Soil improvements continue for installation of the MSE wall.
  • Approximately 2100 piles, or about 78%, have been completed.
  • Structure walls are 59% complete.
  • Structure columns are 51% complete.

Ramp Opens From Airport to Port Everglades

A new ramp from the Airport to Port Everglades opened on Thursday, February 28, 2013.

The new ramp allows traffic leaving the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport direct access to Port Everglades. Motorists now traveling from the Airport to the Port will no longer have to detour north on US 1 to SE 30th Avenue.

With the opening of the new ramp, Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) closed the temporary U-turn in the grassy median of I-595, east of I-95. This U-turn was created to accommodate heavy weekend Airport-to-Port bus and taxi traffic.

This was an FDOT construction project not associated with the South Runway Expansion Project but part of the $42.5 million Eller Drive project.

Read the FDOT new release (PDF).
View a map of the ramp opening (PDF).

New Navigational Aid

Aerial view of the VOR construction in its early stage Aerial view of the early construction.
Completed VOR Construction is completed for the VOR/DME. Testing and calibration will take several months. It will be operational in May 2013.
VOR construction later stage Ground level view of the nearly complete navigational aid

If you drive along I-95, you may have noticed a new structure at the end of the North Runway. This is the recently completed navigational aid called a Doppler VOR/DME (DVOR/DME). Construction started in August, 2012.

This is a short-range radio navigational aid system for aircraft arriving at FLL. VOR is the acronym for Very High Frequency Omni Range. It enables aircraft to determine their position and stay on course by receiving radio signals transmitted by a fixed ground radio beacon. The Doppler provides a more dynamic and robust signal.

Another navigational aid co-located with the VOR is the Distance Measuring Equipment also known as DME. It measures the slant range between the aircraft and the facility. Slant range is the line-of-sight distance between two points which are not at the same height relative to a specific point.
The original VOR, built in 1962, had to move because of the extension of Taxiway C.

The relocation of the VOR/DME is occurring in three phases to maintain uninterrupted operation of the signals. First, construction crews removed all the overhead utility lines in the vicinity of a new, temporary VOR/DME. They then replaced the overhead lines with underground cables. These included mainly power and phone lines. Overhead utilities lines interfere with the radio signals.

For the second phase, crews installed a temporary VOR/DME near the western end of the North Runway. It became operational in November 2010. Once the temporary VOR/DME was operation, crews demolished the original VOR/DME in December 2011.

The temporary VOR/DME will remain operational until the commissioning of the new permanent DVOR/DME.

The third phase was the construction of the permanent DVOR/DME. Crews completed this phase in late December 2012. The FAA’s electronics group will then calibrate, test, and fine tune the equipment. The FAA will flight check the DVOR/DME in February 2013. They will commission it in May 2013.

U.S. 1 Lane Shift

As construction continues for the South Runway expansion, three northbound lanes and three southbound lanes of U.S. 1 (Federal Highway) have shifted slightly to the east. All three lanes in each direction (six lanes total) remain open. For safety reasons, the speed limit is reduced to 40 miles-per-hour. This lane shift is just north of Griffin Road.

Traffic is scheduled to shift back to the newly aligned U.S. 1 in June 2013.

US 1 Detour
In related traffic changes, 10th Street is open to traffic from U.S. 1 east to Southeast 7th Avenue. Taylor Road is closed permanently.
Printable US 1 Lane Shift map (PDF).