Sky Harbor Construction Means Travel Delays

Fri January 10, 2003 - National Edition

PHOENIX (AP) – Travelers using Sky Harbor International Airport will face delays now that paving is underway.

A recent closing of the airport’s center runways means delays of 20 to 40 minutes per flight, spokeswoman Debra Oestreicher said.

The $66-million repaving project lasting an estimated 50 days is scheduled for January and February. The runway’s asphalt is being overlaid with concrete, which needs major repairs much less often, every 20 to 30 years instead of seven for the asphalt surface, Oestreicher said.

Construction began despite a lawsuit filed by the city of Tempe, which claimed that Phoenix and the Federal Aviation Administration didn’t conduct the required environmental analysis, and that the project would aggravate pollution.

A federal judge denied the request for an injunction, saying Tempe could not prove it would win its suit, or that the project would cause irreparable harm.