Citizens, Supervisors, Have Complaints About Runway Project - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather and Events

Citizens, Supervisors, Have Complaints About Runway Project

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From a distance, it looks like the Runway Extension Project at Erie International Airport is going smoothly.  But, a close look reveals some tension between the Airport Authority and the Millcreek Supervisors.

"This is a huge project, probably the largest construction project ever in Erie County. There is going to be bumps in the road and we've had several. We're working through them,"  says Supervisor Brian McGrath.

The latest flap was a request by the airport to do some construction work in the wee hours of the night.  The work involves loud trucks and bright high-beam construction lights.  Supervisors were miffed when the airport asked permission the same day they wanted the work to begin. Also, no nearby residents were ever informed of the work.

"It should have been addressed with us months and months ago. He (Project Manager Tyrone Clark) comes in and wants permission today to begin the work tonight. Well, that's going to impact people's lives," said Supervisor Rick Figaski.

"There are other complaints about the runway project from supervisors and citizens. One complaint concerns trees at the end of the runway that were lopped off on top.

"It is an ugly sight," says Phyllis Hlavin, of Millcreek. "I think this is disgusting that this is the way the airport has left this."

"So now they just look like tall stumps and rather unsightly. We approached the airport and some of the environmental agencies. Thus far we haven't had any luck," said Supervisor Brian McGrath.

There's also the problem of a dirt mound at 11th and Marshall.  The airport placed it in the middle of the intersection to appease neighbors. It's designed to stop cars from traveling on quiet Marshall Avenue, north of 12th,  after the runway project redesigned traffic in the neighborhood.  The airport was supposed to cover the mound with flowers and shrubbery.

"My frustration is they started a project, they came out and started this. They got to a certain point and then they stopped. Now I have a mound of weeds in the corner of my house," says Rich Posten, who lives at the intersection.

"It should have been done a long time ago," says Supervisor Joe Kujawa. "When we call down there to find out when it's going to be done, it's like one meeting after another meeting, after another meeting. Let's just get it done."

The runway extension will soon be completed. We'll find out then if tensions will be gone , and if airport and township officials will celebrate together.





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