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LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The Los Angeles City Council voted Tuesday to approve a controversial plan to rebuild and expand a runway at Los Angeles International Airport.

KNX 1070’s Claudia Peschiutta reports the Council voted 10-3 to move forward on the proposal to demolish the North Runway at LAX and rebuild it 260 feet further north despite intense opposition from residents.

The $4.76 billion project is intended to upgrade the airport’s layout to accommodate larger aircraft like the Airbus A380, but Westchester and Playa del Rey community groups have claimed the project would increase traffic congestion and air pollution.

There will be a lawsuit,” said Councilman Bill Rosendahl, who represents the district that includes LAX and neighboring communities.

But proponents of the plan maintain the project will ultimately pay dividends for the airport and the city at large.

“I’m delighted,” said Gina Marie Lindsey, Executive Director of Los Angeles World Airports. “Sometimes decisions that are broad-based, community interest decisions are difficult, and I give the Council a great deal of credit for going ahead, recognizing we have to make long-term decisions for the good of the city.”

The project, which has been in the works since 2006, still needs the approval of the Federal Aviation Administration and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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