Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Airport Expansion Plan Angers Many Bridgeton Residents Vent Some Steam

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Airport Expansion Plan Angers Many Bridgeton Residents Vent Some Steam

Article excerpt

Hundreds of Bridgeton residents crowded into the airport's planning office Thursday for answers to questions about Lambert's expansion plan that will level one-third of their city.

Many did not like what they heard.

Several yelled at Airports Director Leonard Griggs as he entered the room, demanding to know why the airport wanted their homes to build a third parallel runway southwest of the airport.

They wanted to be reassured that if the plan takes their homes they would be treated fairly.

"We will do our level best to make sure you're not hurt," Griggs said. "We will compensate you."

That wasn't good enough for Dale Manies, a Bridgeton councilman and homeowner in the subdivision of Carrollton Oaks. The plan would demolish the subdivision.

"Let's trade houses," Manies offered Griggs. "You take mine, and I'll take yours."

"I don't want to move again," Griggs said.

"Neither do we," several yelled back.

The residents of Bridgeton attended the first public workshop since the airport announced last week that it had picked a plan that would take 5,000 Bridgeton residents' homes. The plan would cut away the northern edge of Bridgeton on the western side of the airport, including the Carrollton Oaks and Cambridge Crossing subdivisions.

The $1.7 billion plan would add a third runway to allow the airport to keep up with the growth in air travel and give it two operational runways in bad weather.

Several residents cried when they learned the expansion would take their homes. Others cried when they learned they would be left behind.

Sharon Berry sobbed as she and 50 others studied the one map that showed which streets would be demolished. Her home in the Carrollton West subdivision north of Interstate 270 would be left behind. She, her husband and her 3-month-old daughter, Lauren, live on Lonsdale Drive - just around the bend from other houses that will be bought out. …

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