updated 7/28/2009 6:45:33 PM ET 2009-07-28T22:45:33

A runway reconstruction project has begun at John F. Kennedy International Airport.

The busiest runway at the airport will be widened by 50 feet and get a new drainage system and electrical infrastructure.

Gov. David Paterson kicked off the $376 million project on Tuesday. It's expected to cut flight delays by reducing congestion.

The runway handled more than 143,000 takeoffs and landings last year. Kennedy ranks near the top nationwide in flight delays.

As part of the project, the runway will be closed for about four months next year. During that time, air traffic will be shifted Kennedy's three other runways.

Work is expected to continue until November 2011.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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