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Runway extension work begins at Spokane International

Mon., May 18, 2009, 8:52 p.m.

Flights in and out of Spokane International Airport will be diverted to an east-west runway until mid-September while crews begin infrastructure work that will set the stage for a 2,000-foot extension of the main runway next year.

The $30.7 million, two-year project will also change the main runway gradient, signage and lighting, spokesman Todd Woodard said. Electric Avenue will be rerouted slightly to the southwest.

He said South Hill residents may notice planes overhead on alternate headings as they approach the airport.

A longer runway is needed because hot days reduce lift, forcing airlines to reduce loads, he said.

The project will be funded by fees charged to outbound passengers, supplemented by $7 million in federal stimulus money, Woodard said.

Another $11 million in federal money will cover upgrades to airport ramp areas, he said.

When rebuilt, the main runway will extend 11,000 feet. The east-west runway is 8,199 feet long.

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