Skip to Content

New Runway Program


Project Description

The Ridgeland-Claude Dean Airport, with 62 based aircraft, was formerly served by a 2,692-foot runway and failed to comply with several of the FAA’s design standards. Extending the runway was not feasible due to constraints on both ends. An alternatives analysis determined that a new 4,200-foot runway on a north-south orientation would accommodate the needs of the airport and meet FAA criteria.

Development of the new runway was accomplished in several phases once the planning work was completed and approved. The first phase consisted of fee simple acquisition of 7 parcels of adjacent property totaling 252 acres and the purchase of 47 avigation (airspace) easements. The second phase included clearing, grading, and drainage of the entire program build-out to include a full parallel taxiway and a new terminal area. The third phase consisted of the paving and lighting of the runway and taxiway system while the fourth phase of the program installed new perimeter and wildlife fending around the airfield.

Currently, the County is building out the new terminal area in several phases to include an aircraft parking apron, new entrance road connecting directly to US Highway 278, new utility connections to the site, a new 7,000 SF, two-story terminal building, a fuel farm to accommodate Avgas (100 LL) and Jet A fuel, Automated Weather Observation System (AWOS), doubling/expansion of terminal aircraft ramp, and several new hangars.

Project Description

  • Project Location:

    Ridgeland-Claude Dean Airport (3J1) | Ridgeland, SC

  • Project Owner:

    Jasper County, SC

  • Contract Type:

    5-Year On-Call Contract

Holt Consulting Company Contributed:

  • Project Management
  • Pre-Design (survey, geotechnical, wetland delineation)
  • Property and Easement Acquisition Services
  • Wetland Mitigation
  • Planning (ALP and Property Map Updates)
  • Preliminary and Final Design
  • Bidding
  • Grant Services
  • Construction Administration
  • Resident Project Representative
  • Permitting (Corps of Engineers, County, SCDHEC-OCRM)

Project Highlights

Through coordination with representatives of Jasper County, the FAA, the SC Aeronautics Commission (SCAC), and Holt, the case was successfully made to expedite the project by conducting the Airport Layout Plan (ALP) Update effort and Environmental Assessment (EA) effort concurrently, although these are normally conducted in succession. The project was expedited by commencing the necessary land and avigation easements process prior to satisfying NEPA via an 80% SCAC grant.

An innovative phased approach was utilized to minimize the airfield closing period. First, 3,200 feet of the new runway and associated taxiway was constructed (including enough for clear runway landing approaches), north of the existing runway. Then a taxiway was constructed connecting the existing airfield with the new runway. This required closure of the existing runway for a few weeks. The new runway was then opened to air traffic while the remaining 1,000 feet of runway and associated taxiway was constructed. The project was accomplished while managing approximately 15 FAA and State grants over a period of 7 years. The $22M project won the 2021 ACEC – SC Engineering Excellence Award.

Back to top