Council OKs alternative for airport master plan

Councilmembers vote for plan to keep Airport Way where it is.

This article has been updated from the print version to include which alternative the Airport Advisory Committee voted to reccomend to the city.

Renton city council has decided on a preferred alternative to move forward with the Airport Master Plan for Renton Municipal Airport, moving the runway north and keeping Airport Way where it is.

Alternative five, voted on by council and recommended by city administration, pushes the runway north, into Lake Washington. The runway would use a concrete platform or fill material to add onto the lake.

As it is currently planned, alternative five requires the least amount of private property acquisition — 36 properties. Administration also considered the impact other alternatives might have south of the airport on other city projects planned for the downtown core.

At the Monday, Feb. 11 Transportation Committee meeting council members discussed how the preferred alternative is the least expensive and less invasive south of the airport.

The members and administration also emphasized that the alternative will now undergo a three-year environmental impact statement and must be approved by the Federal Aviation Administration.

“This (decision) won’t be the last we hear of this,” council member Ruth Pérez said at the transportation committee meeting.

Construction wouldn’t take place until at least 2026, according to master plan consultants.

Members and former members of the Airport Advisory Committee expressed concern that the committee wasn’t being heard by city administration in December 2018, when their preferred alternative wasn’t chosen. One member, Warren Hendrickson, said at a December council meeting that the master plan decision has had low public input.

Alternatives four was preferred by committee members, with seven of the 18 members voting in the Oct. 16, 2018 committee meeting. That recommendation was given to administration.

The council extended their decision to offer more public comment. The airport held another master plan open house on Jan. 15, with a headcount of 103 attendees.

More information and previous reporting can be found here, here and here.

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