JFK runway work to be completed this week

By Gabriel Rom

A runway renovation project at John F. Kennedy International Airport should be completed by Monday, according to the Port Authority.

The project to reconstruct Runway 4L-22R, which was conducted by the Port Authority in three stages, will add more than 700 feet of runway pavement, widen the runway from 150 to 200 feet, allow for the construction of high-speed taxiways as well as new taxiway exits and replace outdated navigation and communication equipment. The runway renovation project was undertaken to accommodate the biggest jets now in use, including the Airbus 380.

The runway is located at the southeast end of the airport and is closest to Bayswater and the Meadowmere neighborhood of Rosedale.

During the construction process, which began earlier in the year, homeowners in neighborhoods surrounding the airport had to deal with a significant increase in airplane noise over their homes, as flights were redirected to avoid the construction. With construction coming to an end, much of the airplane noise and pollution that affected neighborhoods across southern and central Queens is expected to be alleviated.

Construction crews ripped out existing asphalt and replaced it with 220,000 cubic yards of concrete, churned from the two plants set up on the airport grounds. The project was expected to cost about $267 million, according to statements given by airport officials this June.

“Obviously, maintaining an airport can sometimes require lengthy construction projects that have unfortunate repercussions on the neighboring communities,” said State Sen. Joseph Addabbo (D-Howard Beach). “That is certainly the case with the project to rehabilitate Runway 4L-22R.”

The lawmaker said the project has wreaked havoc on his constituents.

“The redirecting of flights every couple of minutes every day for several months has pummeled this community with an unsafe and unhealthy amount of airplane noise and pollution,” he said, “and I look forward to a large portion of that being eased when construction wraps up next week.”

Reach reporter Gabriel Rom by e-mail at grom@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4564.

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