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Page 159
A History of Austin's Newest General Aviation Airport
W. H
Chapter 9
should have happened was for the fill dirt to
be tamped in 8-inch layers--known as lifts--
resulting in around 11 lifts with density tests
performed after each. That hadn't happened.
After several meetings with Tribble & Ste-
phens' onsite construction crew (men with
rough hands the size of baseball gloves and
a knee-jerk impulse to deny all wrongdoing)
along with a couple of executives from the
head office, the Tribble & Stephens team dug
up the soil over the culverts, layered in fresh
earth, compacted the new fill dirt according to
the specifications, and leveled out my taxiway.
This new problem was more of the same.
Atmos Energy, who owned the pipeline,
had selected Bobcat Contractors to lower the
pipes, and it was Bobcat Contractors who took
most of the blame for the sinking runway. In
truth, the runway didn't look so bad. The taxi-
way, on the other hand, was a disaster.
In December, Airport Manager Jim Craig
marched out to the depressed section of taxi-
way and stretched a plastic red tape across
the crevasse and tried to measure just how
much the taxiway had sunk. He eyeballed
the low point, now puddled with water, put
a measuring tape to it, and as unscientific as
this was, Jim reasoned that the taxiway and
2009. Photo showing how much the taxiway and surrounding soil had sunk after heavy rains and subsequent
setting. Photo courtesy of David Hannah III.