Airport on the Move

by David G. Nicholas, P.E., APM Project Manager; Brown & Root Services at Dallas/Fort Worth Intl. Airport, TX,
Perfecto M. Solis, P.E., (M.ASCE), APM Program Manager; Dallas/Fort Worth Intl. Airport Board,
Dwain K. Brown, P.E., (M.ASCE), Deputy APM Program Mgr.; Freese and Nichols, Inc., Dallas/Fort Worth Intl. Airport, TX,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 2001, Vol. 71, Issue 9, Pg. 34-39

Document Type: Feature article


The Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) is building an automated people mover (APM) system as part of a five-year, $2.6-billion capital development program that includes three runway extensions and a new international terminal. The $849-million APM project includes a 25,400 ft (7,742 m) long elevated guideway, 12 center-platform stations, a maintenance and storage facility, integration with the existng terminals, modifications to the apron and jet bridges, and the train system. In terms of cost, guideway length, and number of vehicles put into service at one time, the system is the largest airport APM to date. A fast-track schedule requires construction to be complete by mid-2003. The guideway superstructure was originally envisioned as using precast-concrete beams, but common prestressed beam construction was chosen instead to save time and money. On the land side, steel trapezoidal box beams were required where existing buildings, utilities, and roads restricted the available column locations, necessitating long spans and tight turning radii. The beams are topped with a cast-in-place concrete deck, and soffit panels flush with the bottom of the bent caps impart a sleek appearance. Guideway columns located outside the air operations area are constructed of cast-in-place concrete, but on the air side the columns are constructed of precast, posttensioned concrete segments joined together with a precast-concrete bent. The relatively unusual combination of precast columns and bent caps reduces construction time and minimizes disruption to airport operations.

Subject Headings: Precast concrete | Guideways | Box beams | Bents (structural) | Airport and airfield pavements | Terminal facilities | Storage facilities

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