Break for Removal


Detroit Metro Airport

Detroit Metro’s Runway 4L/22R was requiring significant maintenance due to rapid deterioration caused by alkali-silica reaction. The decision was made to reconstruct the 10,000-foot runway and associated taxiways on a fast track schedule. The runway was closed in April and reopened in early November. Antigo operated three 8600 Badger Breakers® to break the 17” thick concrete for removal during the main phase of runway reconstruction to achieve a production rate of 20,000 square yards of broken concrete per day to meet the very aggressive construction schedule.

The new pavement design included leaving a portion of the underlying asphalt layer in place as a base for the new concrete. The Engineer and excavation contractor worked with Antigo to determine a hammer drop height and impact spacing that would adequately fracture the concrete while minimizing damage to the underlying asphalt.

Maximum recycling of existing materials was required as part of the owner’s sustainability program. Approximately 6.8 million tons of material, including the exiting concrete, was recycled/reused onsite and offsite.

View Break for Removal Media

Project Details


Runway 4L/22R & Associated Taxiways, Detroit Metro Airport, Wayne County, Michigan, USA


Break for removal 301,473 square yards

Existing Pavement

14-18” thick jointed reinforced concrete pavement (JRCP) over 9” thick asphalt

New Pavement

18.5” thick jointed plain concrete pavement (JPCP)


The runway was broken during April, 2016, and several taxiways and connectors were broken during June and July, 2016


Wayne County Airport Authority


Ajax Paving Industries, Inc., Troy, Michigan and Dan’s Excavating, Inc., Shelby Township, Michigan