Denver International Airport (DIA) in the US is breaking ground on a $46.5m project to renovate one of its runways.

Runway 17L-35R, which is 12,000ft long and 150ft wide, is one of the four north-south runways of the airport.

As part of the project, an estimated 2,180 concrete slabs will be replaced on the runway, which will be equipped with a new runway pavement sensor system.

The new sensor system will enable DIA to identify surface freezing points during winter storms and apply chemical deicing agents based on accurate calculations.

"DIA is now 20 years old, and there is an increased requirement for maintenance of the facility."

Under the runway rehabilitation project, the airport inspects the condition of each concrete slab on the airfield once in every three years for signs of deterioration.

DIA chief operating officer Ken Greene said: "DIA is now 20 years old, and there is an increased requirement for maintenance of the facility.

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"Our robust pavement management programme allows us to efficiently track the age and condition of more than 150,000 individual concrete panels on the airfield, and to make proactive maintenance decisions that will help to ensure the safe operation of more than a half-million flights a year."

The runway will be closed until 15 September to carry out the renovation works.

The Denver City Council signed a $35.3m contract with Flatiron Construction for the rehabilitation.

Image: Runway 17L-35R at Denver International Airport. Photo: courtesy of City & County of Denver Department of Aviation.