After almost 15 years of debates, the state board in control of T.F. Green Airport has finally approved the extension of the Warwick airport's main runway.
Rhode Island Airport Corporation board members unanimously voted Wednesday night to award a $37.9 million contract for the extension to Rhode Island-based Cardi Corporation.
Board vice chairman Russell Hahn called the vote "historic."
Airport chief executive Peter Frazier says a notice to begin construction will be issued immediately, although work on the extension likely won't be started until early June. The extended runway is expected to open in December 2017.
Talks of the potential new runway became public in an April 2002 consultant's report. An amended plan was approved by the Federal Aviation Administration in 2011.