Construction Resumes On Taxiway At Lexington Airport

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - Blue Grass Airport has resumed taxiway construction delayed by the crash that killed 49 people on Aug. 27. The shorter runway that Comair 5191 mistakenly used will reopen by Thanksgiving, airport officials said.

All construction was delayed by Blue Grass Airport and by court order shortly after the crash so the airport could be examined by experts on behalf of victims' families who have filed lawsuits.

Comair Flight 5191 crashed after the pilots took off from the 3,500-foot runway 26 instead of the 7,000-foot runway 22. Runway 26 has been closed since the crash.

Construction should continue for 20 to 30 days, airport director Michael Gobb told the Lexington Herald-Leader.

The project will build a new taxiway connection to the 7,000-foot runway for commercial flights and demolish the short taxiway connection that Flight 5191 should have used.

Runway 26 should reopen by Thanksgiving, Gobb said, and it will accommodate smaller, private airplanes that make up about 60 percent of the airport's operations.

Eventually, that runway will be closed, relocated and lengthened to 5,000 feet. Runway 26, which needs a major overhaul, has not been substantially changed since it was built in the 1940s.

The new runway will run roughly parallel to Versailles Road and allow even more general-aviation traffic. It should be completed by 2009, in time for the 2010 World Equestrian Games, which Gobb said will bring an increase in private airplane traffic.


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