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Philadelphia Airport Expansion

Philadelphia Airport Expansion

A planned $5.2 billion expansion of the Philadelphia International Airport could begin construction as soon as next summer.  The plan calls for the lengthening of two runways, the construction of another and the expansion of existing parking facilities.  The airport would also build a unified ground transportation center and a new commuter terminal, among other improvements.  The expansion would take between 12 and 15 years to complete and would add capacity for the airport to handle future traffic.  Funding for the project would come from Philadelphia revenue bonds, passenger-facility charges and grants from the Federal Aviation Administration.

The proposed plan would require the acquisition of a number of properties and the relocation and closing of several public roads.  The airport is currently in discussions with UPS to move their facilities to make room for the new runway.  A segment of Tinicum Island Road would be relocated, and a part of Hog Island Road would be closed. Island Avenue would be relocated between Enterprise Avenue and Penrose Avenue. The Cargo Access Road, Recirculation Road, and Airport Exit Road all would be relocated.  The Philadelphia Enquirer has a description of several off-site facilities which would be acquired or relocated:

The Sunoco Logistics Hog Island Wharf complex would be removed, and the Sunoco Logistics Fort Mifflin complex upgraded to consolidate fuel off-loading and storage requirements. The Fort Mifflin Complex dock would be extended 1,000 feet west.

The airport would acquire and demolish buildings at the International Plaza, and acquire 106.5 acres of private land east of the airport from 13 owners and demolish the buildings. Two public streets, Escort Street and Executive Avenue, would be closed.

About 118 acres in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Fort Mifflin dredge disposal site would be used to extend Runway 8-26. About 177 acres north of I-95 would be acquired or transferred from the City Water Department to the Army Corps to replace lost Fort Mifflin dredge land.

The National Guard Pier and part of the National Guard facilities in the Fort Mifflin Army Corps area would be acquired and demolished. Under the proposal, three off-site privately owned parking facilities would be eliminated.

The FAA is planning to issue an environmental impact statement for the project later this summer with final approval expected by the end of the year.


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1 Comments to “Philadelphia Airport Expansion”

  1. Jason says:

    I realize it is probably way too late in the planning process. But I wonder if anyone had considered this as an alternative layout….

    Remove the SEPTA rail lines from the airport terminal areas and replace them with a Closed Loop Airport Subway System (CLASS). The SEPTA line would then terminate at a new Amtrak/SEPTA station between Bartram Ave, and the I-95 Exits, next to the Embassy Suites. SEPTA passengers could board the CLASS from here, access all terminals, parking, and car rentals from this loop.

    This change would have several advantages:
    1) SEPTA service would be more frequent as there would only be one stop for the entire Airport.
    2) The CLASS loops path would not be constrained by the curve of the SEPTA rail which would allow for the rail to continue straight southwest from the new station, under I-95, and to the new Commuter Terminal which will be located where Xlibris is now, rather than the plan for putting it on the west side of the airport.
    3) The Commuter Terminal can now be contiguous with the existing terminals.
    4) There is no longer a need for a separate “People Mover”
    5) After stopping at the Commuter terminal and existing terminals the CLASS loop can stop at the economy parking lots, then travel north under I-95 again, and access additional parking, then turn southwest giving access to the row of hotels before returning to the new Amtrak/SEPTA station.
    6) The location of the Amtrak/SEPTA station is in alignments with the Platt Memorial Bridge, and existing Rail ROW to the west of the airport. This would put it in perfect alignment for the most likely path of a High-speed rail line for Amtrak’s NEC. The next stop would be Market East to the north, or Wilmington to the South, making the new station a hub for intercity rail, regional rail, as well as international/national flight.

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