MIAMI TWP., Ohio - Montgomery County is proposing to relocate a section of Austin Pike adjacent to Dayton-Wright Brothers Airport in order to meet a federal requirement to increase safety buffers between roads and airport runways.
The key is whether the Federal Aviation Administration will be willing to cover the estimated $3 million that it will cost to loop part of the one-mile Austin Pike section as much as 500 feet north of where it now lies, said Joe Litvin, the Montgomery County engineer.
"If they don't supply the funding, we can't afford to move the road on our own," Litvin said.
The relocation would be done while the county proceeds with a widening of Austin Pike between Ohio 741 and Washington Church Road from its current two lanes to five lanes, including a turn lane. The widening would cost an estimated $9 million, plus the $3 million to move the road, Litvin said.
Litvin's goal is to have the work done in 2009-2010 while the state is installing the new Austin Pike interchange, a $44.6 million project, nearby on Interstate 75.
The projects are driven by growth in the area and the prospects of additional economic development that the new roads could support, Litvin said. Long-term plans call for the similar widening within the next five to 10 years of roads that adjoin Austin Pike and run east to Ohio 48 and west to Benner Road at the southern fringe of Miamisburg, Litvin said.
The city of Dayton owns Dayton-Wright Brothers Airport, which is used for general aviation, including small planes and corporate jets. Dayton's director of aviation, Iftikhar Ahmad, is to present the road relocation project within 30 days to the FAA to request funding support, airport spokeswoman Sharon Sears said.
The road relocation is to be done solely to comply with the FAA safety directive, Sears said. There are no plans to fly bigger planes into Dayton-Wright Brothers Airport, she said.
It is too soon to say what support the FAA would be willing to provide, spokeswoman Elizabeth Isham Cory said.
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Federal airport safety directive
The Federal Aviation Administration in 1989 directed commercial airports nationwide to establish a 1,000-foot safety area between the ends of runways and nearby roads. Airports with pre-existing runways were given until 2015 to comply.
The FAA has said it will provide funding to support the safety upgrades.
Airports that lack land for the buffers are allowed to create beds of crushed concrete to slow airplanes that run off the runway.
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