Friday, March 26, 2004

It’s another twist in the road for TDK



Efforts to build the proposed TDK Boulevard extension linking Coweta and Fayette counties may have hit another snag this week.

Government leaders learned earlier this month of a potential hang-up with the Federal Aviation Administration over the location of the road. A portion of the road runs through the runway safety zone for Falcon Field, which led the FAA to write a letter expressing its “concern” about the road.

The letter sent many government leaders scrambling to try and determine what the letter meant, and if it was a possible torpedo for the road project, which has been discussed since the 1980s.

This week, Peachtree City’s staff, along with Fayette County public works director Lee Hearn, sat down with the FAA to get further clarification on the issue.

After their Tuesday morning meeting, Peachtree City administrator Bernie McMullen said the parties are considering a possibility of moving a portion of the road away from the safety zone.

“This is only a possibility. This is not something they said we had to do,” he said.

Airport Authority Chairwoman Cathy Nelmes said the city, county and airport authority are exploring options to re-route a portion of TDK along with Planterra Ridge Golf Course, which is just to the north of the airport, and other land owners.

“The FAA would like for the road to be redesigned,” Nelmes said.

The road’s current location is just outside the runway safety area (which serves as emergency room for departures and arrivals) just north of the airport.

Nelmes confirmed FAA officials have not threatened to take away any federal funding for the airport if the road is built using it’s current route.

“We’re going to see what we can find to do what works for all of us,” Nelmes said.

When the FAA’s concern over the road was first mentioned, a possible loss of federal funds for Falcon Field was mentioned, but that issue seems to have been much ado about nothing.

“There was never a threat to cut the funding,” McMullen said.

McMullen said the next step in the process is to determine the fiscal issues surrounding moving a portion of the road. How much the road would have to be moved has not been determined, but McMullen said staff is worling on the issue and plans to have another meeting on TDK next week.

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