Construction of a $27 million runway project for Spaceport America is on track for completion nearly two months ahead of schedule, thanks to machine control technology from Leica Geosystems.
The Spaceport project, located in a remote area 35 miles southwest of Truth or Consequences, N.M., will make space tourism a reality. The state of New Mexico and two local counties are putting up $198 million for this unique project.
Construction is being greatly accelerated with the aid of GPS and robotic total station machine control from Leica Geosystems, said David Guerra, superintendent for David Montoya Construction, the project’s contractor. “We should be finished with the runway by the third week in July — almost two months ahead of our scheduled date of Sept. 16,” he notes. “And the Leica Geosystems machine control equipment is the reason we’re going to be early.”
After rapid preparation of the subgrade with Leica PowerGrade 3D GPS-equipped dozers and motorgraders, a GOMACO 9500 Series fine-grade trimmer equipped with Leica PaveSmart 3D took over to get the subgrade to ± 1/100th foot.
“Using PaveSmart 3D to control the trimmer alone cuts fine grading time to a third of what it takes with a motorgrader,” said Guerra.
Leica Geosystems Machine control is engineered to save contractors significant time because it eliminates the labor costs for detailed surveying for the runway, stakeout of hubs, setting bluetops and set up of traditional stringlines used with slipform paving, plus data handling between all machines on site becomes easier throughout the entire project — the net result being a lower cost, high productivity construction process.
Based in Heerbrugg, Switzerland, Leica Geosystems is best known for its broad array of products that capture accurately, model quickly, analyze easily, and visualize and present spatial information.