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Three Decades of Airport Expansion Projects

Through the 1930s and into the war years, the Atlanta Municipal Airport had four intersecting runways–the longest, 4,750 feet, and the shortest, 3,400 feet. A 1944 master site plan called for a new system of three much longer runways, two of them 6,000 feet long, and the third, 7,200 feet. In June 1948 MacDougald Construction Company submitted the low bid for construction and paving of the three runways, $1.12 million.

MacDougald built the new runways even as the old ones remained active. Several months into the job, however, heavy winter rains put a stop to the operation until the following spring. The first two runways were completed in 1950 and the third in 1952.

Five years later MacDougald won another airport contract for site preparation for a new terminal, which opened May 3, 1961.

In the early 1960s the city began a move away from intersecting, crosswind runways to longer parallel runways. Then in 1964 Western Contracting Corporation of Sioux City, Iowa, submitted the low bid for a new 8,000-foot runway. It was the first time a local paving contractor had failed to win an Atlanta Municipal Airport contract.

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