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Churchill Airport – Rehabilitation of Airport Runways

Project Details

Location: Churchill, MB.
Client: Public Works and Government Services Canada
Completed: September 2011

Project Description

The work covered the;
  • Removal and profiling of existing asphalt pavement by rotary milling
  • Removing existing concrete pavement
  • Asphalt lower and surface course resurfacing with new hot mix asphaltic concrete
  • Adjusting all runway, taxiway, and apron edge lighting
  • New pavement markings

Key Challenges and Solutions

Churchill is a small town of 900 located along the shores of Hudson Bay in Northern Manitoba. Reachable by sea, air, and rail only, mobilizing an entire workforce and all related equipment proved to be challenging.

In consultation with various partners and stakeholders, NRC ensured that with proper planning and execution all required equipment was mobilized to site on time in one single rail drop.

The construction season is short in Manitoba, and even shorter in Churchill. A typical window to complete paving works would be from 10 to 12 weeks from June to August. Some of the materials incorporated on this project had been produced the season prior and were still frozen upon our arrival.

NRC used various techniques including the use of steam to ensure these materials were thawed and ready for use when needed.

As everyone knows, Churchill is known as the Polar Bear capital of the world. These large majestic animals spend the summers on land waiting for the sea ice to form before they can go out and hunt. During this time, they are quite hungry and can be seen roaming around the community in search of anything to eat.

NRC teamed up with local wildlife officials and set up strategically positioned bear traps to prevent them from wandering to close to the jobsite and endangering both themselves and our workers.

Erv Petkau, CSC

Vice President and Equipment Division Manager

Erv is responsible for our extensive equipment fleet. He oversees all equipment operational activities including purchasing and renting and directs and oversees our repairs and maintenance division ensuring quality and reliable equipment is available throughout the company.

Brad Morton, P. Eng., GSC

Vice President and Underground Division Manager

Brad is the Manager of the Underground Division for Nelson River Construction. Brad has over thirty years experience in engineering design, contract administration and project management for infrastructure projects for the City of Winnipeg, Winnipeg Airports Authority and Manitoba Infrastructure. He has been involved in asset evaluation, management, maintenance and rehabilitation planning and construction related to sewer and water systems and pumps stations on many projects during his career. Brad was the Construction Manager for the land drainage pump stations at the University of Manitoba and the WAA, both projects involved significant shoring, structural concrete and sub-contractor coordination. Brad’s common sense approach combined with his consulting and construction experience consistently results in quality projects which are delivered to clients on time and on budget.

Robert Boyechko

Aggregates Division Manager

Robert is our Aggregate Manger responsible for the planning, organizing, directing and control of raw material production at our various quarry holdings throughout the province. With over twenty-five years of experience, Robert identifies opportunities and develops strategies for improved efficiency and production. Addressing the needs of our internal divisions and our Customers is a major responsibility. Robert ensures environmental compliance, rehabilitation and permit obligations are maintained. He also provides research and testing of new and existing quarries.

Gord Lee, P. Eng., GSC

President & CEO

Gord has been with the company since 1985 and has served in several different capacities during his career. He was appointed President and CEO in 2002. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering at University of Manitoba in 1985, his Professional Engineer designation in 1987 and his Gold Seal Certificate in Project Management from the Canadian Construction Association in 1999.

Gord is an active member of the Winnipeg construction community and has served as Chair of the Board of Directors for the Manitoba Heavy Construction Association, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Western Canada Roadbuilders and Heavy Construction Association. He is a past member of the Board of Directors for the Canadian Construction Association. He has served as Chair of the Manitoba Construction Sector Council since 2011 and has represented the Heavy Construction Industry on the Construction Industry Wages Act Review Panel since 2009. He is a Director on the Board of the Health Sciences Center Foundation.

Steve Kosmac, C.E.T., GSC

Concrete Division Manager

Steve is the Manager of the Concrete Division for Nelson River Construction. He has over 20 years’ experience in the management of City and Highway roadway projects, Airport projects and a variety of structural concrete rehabilitation projects some of which include bridge modification work. His experience in the planning, organizing and coordination of the multiple Subtrades related to Utilities, Landscaping, and Electrical infrastructure is meticulous by nature. His extensive experience on roadway related projects makes him an integral contributor to the management of our projects

Ray Bissonnette, CRSP, CHSC

Safety Health, & Loss Prevention Manager

Ray has over a decade of experience in the Safety and Health field and is our Manager of Safety, Health & Loss Prevention. Ray has played a key role in the ongoing development and expansion of the company Safety, Health & Loss Prevention program, with the goal to minimize worker injuries and company losses. Ray’s experience includes policy and procedure development, coordinating training, conducting company safety audits, accident prevention, team building, and incident tracking and investigations, managing insurance loss claims, and identifying company risk.

Marcel Machado, B.Sc. C.E.

Asphalt Division Manager

Marcel oversees the day-to-day operations of the asphalt paving division at Nelson River including the estimating, tendering, project management, and construction of various infrastructure projects. Marcel has overseen the successful completion of numerous projects including highways, roads, airports, and parking lots for a wide variety of government and private sector clients under both traditional and design-build construction models. With nearly 30 years of experience in the roadbuilding and paving industry, Marcel brings a wealth of knowledge to each project he is involved with.

John Hudohmet, CPA – CMA


John is responsible for the financial management of the company. He is an experienced business professional with an extensive background in accounting and finance, management information systems and planning. John works closely with the entire management team providing financial and operational support.