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Charlotte Area

Major airport runway to close for construction next week

The longest runway at Charlotte Douglas Airport will shut down for three days next week, causing airlines to cancel flights and shuffle passengers. WFAE's Julie Rose reports: Starting late Monday night, crews will tear up 1,600 tons of old concrete on one of the main runways at the Charlotte airport. They hope to have it all replaced with new concrete and ready for take-off by 6:30 a.m. on Thursday. During those two and a half days of construction, hundreds of flights will be affected. US Airways spokesman Morgan Durrant says the airline cancelled and rebooked 10 percent of its flights. "Most of the cancellations we had to issue are on the express side, which means there'll be less regional jet flying coming in and out of Charlotte on these two days," says Durrant. He adds that it's common for the airline to cancel and shuffle flights for airport construction projects. Charlotte Douglas Airport spokeswoman Haley Gentry says they worked with the airlines to pick a slower travel time for the runway improvement project. "We've done this in sections," Gentry explains. "We did a piece of it in 2006 and this will be another area. And the areas that are being replaced will be in the key touch down areas for airplanes." Gentry says the project will cost $550,000. That's $150,000 less than the airport had originally budgeted to do the work next spring. Gentry says the contractor building a fourth runway at the airport offered the lower price to complete the work this summer while the company is still on site.