MacArthur Airport project to finish early

A terminal drop-off canopy, left, at Long Island A terminal drop-off canopy, left, at Long Island MacArthur Airport. (Dec. 17, 2012) Photo Credit: James Carbone

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A $10.3 million roadway realignment project at Long Island MacArthur Airport is slated to be completed under budget and three months early, Islip Town officials said Monday.

The project was designed to redirect the flow of traffic at the airport with additional roadways, lighting, drainage and a vehicle security checkpoint.

The project, which also includes a 750-foot canopy to protect passengers and workers from the elements, is expected to be completed by Jan. 10 and come in $327,000 under the estimated $10.6 million that was budgeted. Construction began in September 2011, after it was approved by a town board resolution.

Airport Commissioner Robert Schaefer said the new roadway configuration, which includes a bypass road that allows drop-offs and pickups on both sides, will give drivers more convenient access to parking and arrival and departure areas. "It will improve the flow of traffic greatly and get you in and out of the airport," Schaefer said.

Schaefer said last year's mild winter allowed workers to finish ahead of schedule; and savings were achieved by using less expensive supplies. For example, he said, solar panels planned for the top of the canopy were eliminated, and engineers OKd swapping out stainless steel for aluminum in some areas.

Passenger fees at the airport funded the project, which did not draw any funds from the town's budget, officials said. "These new fixes are a major improvement, not only aesthetically but mainly as a convenience to the flying public," said Islip Town Supervisor Tom Croci.

"By collecting $4.50 a passenger, we're able to make our airport more easily accessible, our passengers more at ease, and the overall experience genuinely better."

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