Extended runway opens at Gary-Chicago International Airport

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GARY, Ind. -- The newly-extended runway at Gary-Chicago International Airport is now open for business.

The opening ceremony to celebrate the new airstrip -- which was extended from 7,000 feet to 8,900 feet -- took place Friday morning, although the runway has actually been open since June 25.

The runway cost more than $174 million to remodel and required the relocating of several railroad tracks and the removal of 577,000 tons of soil. It will allow the airport to handle larger planes and serve more markets.

In addition to the runway expansion, 1,000-foot safety areas were added to either end, as mandated by the Federal Aviation Administration.

The Grand Opening included a sneak peak of the Gary Airshow, which returns Saturday and Sunday after a two-year hiatus.

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