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BOSTON-A Superior Court judge lifted a 30-year-old injunction on expansion at Logan International Airport clearing the way for the Massachusetts Port Authority to move ahead with its plans to build a new runway.

Massport has been trying to get the runway built for years, most recently contending that the flight delays at Logan necessitated the project. But a number of local municipalities, including the City of Boston, objected, claiming that it would exacerbate the area’s problem with noise and pollution.

The Federal Aviation Administration gave the runway its approval last summer, with a number of restrictions, including that the runway be used only in the case of extreme winds. This ruling led to a suit filed in federal court by a number of opponents to the project, including the Communities Against Runway Expansion, a coalition of groups from 30 communities around Boston. The suit claims that the FAA did not sufficiently recognize the potential impact the runway would have on the affected communities.

Calls to Communities Against Runway Expansion were not returned by deadline, but on the group’s website it says that the case in Washington, DC against the FAA continues. Jose Juves, spokesperson for Massport, tells GlobeSt.com that he doesn’t anticipate that the case will impact the construction of the runway. “This was the last legal hurdle,” he says, referring to the lifted injunction. Construction, he adds, will begin in the spring or summer of 2004.

Mayor Thomas M. Menino seems resigned to the development of the runway as well. “The city fought a long and hard fight,” a spokesperson for Menino tells Globest.com. “The fight resulted in some positives like the addition of the wind restriction and the runway will be unidirectional. The mayor will continue to work with Massport to make sure the runway is constructed in a way that accords with the wishes of the community.” He adds that the city has no plans to appeal the decision.

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