Neighbors still fighting Lake Elmo airport runway expansion

May 07, 2019 10:17 PM

Some neighbors around the Lake Elmo Airport are not happy and vow to fight a recent decision by the Metropolitan Airports Commission to move forward with a $10-million runway expansion project.

Mary Vierling told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS neighbors are concerned about the reconstruction of 30th Street to accomodate the longer runway and the safety risks it might impose on new homes popping up in old farm fields around the airport.

"This is just a ridiculous idea on both fronts," said Vierling.  "We don't think the proposed redesign of 30th Street is safe and having a longer runway means more airplanes flying in and out of the airport, which increases the risk for all the new homes across the road."

The Metropolitan Airports Commission told KSTP, in a statement, that the runway improvements will make the airport travel safer and is designed to only acommadate smaller aircraft.

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MAC said, in part, the new runway length of 35-hundred feet, compared to 28-hundred feet, "will allow propeller driven aircraft of fewer than 10 seats."

The 30th Street reconstruction could face a hurdle as it needs approval from the two townships that are divided by the street before the construction can start.

West Lakeland Township Supervisor, David Schultz, told KSTP Baytown Township and West Lakeland Township will have to take a vote in the near future and if one township opposes the plan things could change.

"If one township votes against it then there is a problem," said Schultz.  "It very well could be, if one township votes it down, that the issue will end up in court.

Construction is set to start this summer and the entire project is expected to be done by 2021.

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Jay Kolls

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