Construction is expected to begin early next year on a much-needed safety zone at the Johnston County Airport in Smithfield, N.C., to prevent airplanes that overshoot the airport's 5,500-foot runway from going down a steep embankment. With help from FAA funding and a county-approved loan, the $6.6 million project will build a flat, sodded area 1,000 feet long by 500 feet wide at the end of the runway.

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