http://articles.philly.com/2011-01-05/n ... es-runways
A $5.2 billion expansion of Philadelphia International Airport aimed at reducing chronic delays and accommodating growth 50 years from now has received the final sign-off from the Federal Aviation Administration.
Among the upgrades: lengthening two runways, building a fifth runway along the Delaware River, a new commuter terminal, more gates, additional parking, an automated "people mover," and a ground-transportation hub for rental cars.
United Parcel Service would be relocated to the airport's west side, where 72 houses in neighboring Tinicum Township would be acquired by the City of Philadelphia and demolished.
The FAA, which conducted environmental studies and held public meetings in Philadelphia between 2003 and 2008, chose the plan, dubbed "Alternative A," for several reasons, including the possibility of avoiding or minimizing "significant" environmental impact.
Still, enlarging the airport footprint will cause the loss of 81.7 acres of wetlands, including marshes and open water on airport property. An additional 46.7 acres of wetlands in the former Philadelphia Water Department sludge lagoons will be altered to relocate part of the Fort Mifflin Dredge Disposal facility. Also affected will be 23.1 acres of waterways, the FAA said.
The plan will place 24.5 acres of fill in the Delaware River to construct the new runway. The runway's west end would extend 670 feet into the river and be built on fill or piles.