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Construction of second runway continues at Osan, South Korea

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Stefanie Torres
  • 51st Fighter Wing Public Affairs
A second runway for Osan Air Base is under construction as U.S. and Republic of Korea officials continue to work together to have it up and running by 2013.

With oversight from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the ROK Ministry of National Defense's Defense Installations Agency has been working since February 2012 to safely build a runway essential to the 51st Fighter Wing mission.

As with any large construction project, U.S. and ROK officials keep safety in mind to protect the local populace and environment, explains Joon Choi, 51st Civil Engineer Squadron water quality manager. New engineered structures will prevent construction debris and sediment loss into a nearby river. The site also has a source of water drainage controlled with filters.

"We have sediment traps, open drain swells, as well as de-silting basins where construction is taking place to prevent soil and water contamination," Choi said. "There is one outfall from which all the water can drain and there is no construction debris with this engineering structure in place."

The 51st CES environmental office, which Mr. Choi represents, inspects soil and water for contamination and ensures proper storage of hazardous material.

"We look to see how they are storing their gasoline, paints, solvents and whatever else they are using for their industrial processes to ensure personnel and environmental safety is a priority," he said. "We look at their erosion control plans to see how effective they're written and if they're actually being implemented."

"Various sites at Osan Air Base are tested on a regular basis to ensure we are complainant with environmental standards established under the US-ROK SOFA and Korean law," said Lt. Col. Roland E. Secody, 51st Civil Engineer Squadron commander. "We take environmental concerns very seriously and are dedicated to the health and safety of the entire Pyeongtaek community."

Additionally, the MND DIA contractor has the ability to recycle large pieces of concrete and old pavement for use on the new runway. Large pieces of concrete from former runway repairs, old trees and wood from storms, and old construction debris are being excavated, sorted, recycled and properly disposed of to make way for the new runway.

"The old soil is being used as backfill making this a very sustainable project," Choi said. "We definitely do everything we can to make sure these standards are in place for the safety of everyone involved."