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Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., told the AP the work could lead to more nonstop flights in and out of the state’s main airport. Reed announced the funds at the airport in Warwick alongside Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee and Mayor Scott Avedisian.
According to the report, $50 million will help extend the 7,200-foot runway by almost 1,500 feet to accommodate longer national and international flights.
The funds will come from the Federal Aviation Administration. The airport plans to spend $42 million of its own money on the work, which could begin next summer.
The runway expansion had been held up by a federal lawsuit filed by Warwick officials over its impact on health and pollution. The lawsuit was dropped in the spring after Chafee, the former mayor of Warwick, asked the city to end its challenge, saying the extension was critical to the state’s economic development. •