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Published: Sunday, 2/24/2008

Detroit Metro runway plan irks Romulus


ROMULUS, Mich. - Detroit Metropolitan Airport officials are proposing the building of a 10,000-foot runway that would displace 3,500 people, 15 percent of its home city's residents.

The plan for a seventh runway also would force the closing of two elementary schools and 50 businesses in Romulus. The city of 24,000 is 15 miles southwest of Detroit.

The board that runs the nation's 11th-busiest airport said the runway is needed as part of a 20-year plan to handle a projected 2.3 percent annual increase in traffic. They said annual passengers will reach 60 million by 2027. The total is about 36 million today.

But Romulus officials criticized the plan and the Romulus City Council is scheduled to consider a resolution opposing it.

Officials say the expansion would take 1,700 acres and 815 residential properties.

A plan including the runway, as well as expansion of the McNamara and North terminals and the building of a passenger monorail off I-94, could go to federal regulators this spring, the Detroit News said.

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