Elevating YVR South Runway Overlay With Lafarge

Lafarge was the dedicated paving contractor for Canada's second-busiest airport overlay at Vancouver International Airport. The work consisted of milling and paving approximately 39,000 tonnes of asphalt pavement while working alongside the bustling environment of a major international airport on Canada's west coast.

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Vancouver Airport is a major gateway to Canada, accommodating over 2.4 million travellers in July 2013 alone. The frequency of use and the importance make it imperative for the airport to receive top-notch facilities to ensure seamless operations.

The runaway is a vital component of any airport, and the one at YVR underwent a much-needed upgrade. Lafarge's extensive paving experience and premium asphalt products allowed the company to secure the contractor for this project. 

The project presented a significant challenge. In addition to the general quality requirements for an airport runway, the contractor had a stringent timeline to adhere to to minimize disruption to operations. The project’s location also meant it was a high-security project, and the company needed to take necessary measures to ensure team members had security clearance and adhered to all protocols.



The Lafarge teams highlighted the two critical aspects of the project that required special attention:


Thanks to unparalleled accessibility to Western Canada’s largest materials resource network, with the closest and largest supplies of aggregates and cement to the project site, Lafarge provided the lowest risk option for YVR to complete this upgrade on time and within budget.

A highly demanding schedule was an essential component of success in works to complete the south runway overlay. Lafarge's coastal logistics network meant the company had 24/7 access to aggregate pits. Hence, it was well-positioned to maintain this project's schedule.

To complete the work within the specified time constraints, Lafarge set a minimum nightly production to ensure on-time project completion. Meticulous planning with contractors and Lafarge crews was required to perform the work under such parameters. This work was completed to precise elevations within a time-constricted work window each night using paving machines equipped with GPS technologies.

Lafarge also used its material resources to provide maximum value in material pricing and efficient and on-time delivery, contributing to client success. 


An extensive quality control program maximized the contributions of Lafarge’s Seattle-based, CCIL-certified laboratory. This lab conducted essential tests to meet the appropriate carbonation treatment to meet the project’s environmental and sustainable design requirements.

Lafarge also installed an on-site quality assurance trailer to store test cylinders and beams - meaning that every change and test was managed in real-time, further minimizing delays.

The company’s stringent quality control and assurance measures meant it implemented the right solutions for this project's unique challenges. Teams included the use of ice in hot weather and tarping in the BC coast's cold and damp winter weather. Lafarge’s Quality Control teams also mitigated early slump loss by adjusting mixes for flex and slump protection.


The YVR project completion met the client-provided deadline without compromising the quality. The airport's operations greatly benefitted from the work and have seen significant total flight and passenger growth since 2017. 

Lafarge's unwavering commitment and innovative solutions were instrumental in achieving the project's resounding success.