Airport looking to shift Plank Rd. to comply with federal regulations

(Source: WAFB)
(Source: WAFB)

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The Baton Rouge Airport could soon be making changes to a road that runs in close proximity to the end of the runway.

Interim Director of Baton Rouge Airport, Ralph Hennessy, announced the construction plan during the East Baton Rouge Metropolitan Council retreat on February 2.

According to Hennessy, the project would shift Plank Road, near the intersection of Harding Boulevard, a quarter of a mile to the east.

Hennessy said the Federal Aviation Administration recommended that any road that runs through a runway protection zone, be relocated.

"It allows us to comply with the design criteria of the FAA, as well as safety features for passengers that would be on aircraft. Should that aircraft depart the end of that runway, it would not collide with any cars moving through that roadway," said Hennessy.

Airport officials said they are conducting a study to determine if the project is feasible, environmentally and economically, but preliminary reports indicate this is the right move for the safety of the airport.

Hennessy adds, they will be in the design phase for the next year then construction can begin.

The project is expected to take about two years to complete. The total cost of the project could range between $25-$40 million.

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