Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Looking West Lambert Plans Thrust Deep into Bridgeton

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Looking West Lambert Plans Thrust Deep into Bridgeton

Article excerpt

Consultants tell Lambert Field it must expand to meet the growth expected in passenger load in the next two decades, from 23 million now to 42 million. Airport officials are considering six proposals to add a third parallel runway and soon will recommend one to the Airport Authority. The newspaper is looking at the cost and impact of each proposal.

Lambert Field could carve a central chunk out of Bridgeton's residential community and leave many remaining residents awash in aircraft noise if it picks either the West or Far West plans for expansion.

Each calls for thrusting two runways deep into Bridgeton, gobbling up major parts of subdivisions along Fee Fee and Natural Bridge roads. Members of Bridgeton Air Defense, or BAD, complain that the plans would leave homeowners in subdivisions such as Carrollton West with a constant parade of planes taking off from both runways.

"As a city official, I'm going to make sure that they buy out a wide enough area so we're not sitting there with cracked windows like the good people in Berkeley," said Tom Fehrenbacher, a newly elected councilman in Bridgeton's Ward 1 and a member of BAD.

Michael Cullivan, an airport expansion consultant, said Lambert officials have acknowledged that both west plans would take many homes.

Just how many homes would go will depend on studies of the flight paths and noise levels created by the plan that is chosen, he said. The airport estimates it would need to buy between 1,500 and 2,280 homes under the plans. Most would be in Bridgeton, some in St. Ann.

The west plans draw similar airport boundaries but positions the runways differently. Each would extend the airport northwest to Interstate 270 and south in a jagged, diagonal line that briefly dips below I-70 and dead-ends north of I-70 at I-170.

Both plans would spare the terminal and expand it westward between the southernmost and middle runways. Passengers would buy tickets and check luggage at the terminal, then board an underground tram to the new concourses.

Here's where the plans differ:

***** W-1, The West Plan

At $1.78 billion, this plan is the least expensive of the six major options. It would extend the runway closest to the terminal and add a third runway to the southwest. Two new bridges would carry runways and taxiways over Lindbergh Boulevard. The designers are unsure where the new runway would be exactly - either reaching toward I-270 or nudging I-70 south.

Still, it would cost Bridgeton plenty. The city would lose:

- Residential neighborhoods like the Carrollton and Carrollton Oaks subdivisions, north of Natural Bridge Road, as well as other areas south of Natural Bridge near Fee Fee Road, such as the Cambridge Crossing subdivision.

- Commercial areas near Fee Fee and Natural Bridge Road.

- The Robertson Fire District's Firehouse No. …

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