In an effort to help reduce on-ground flight delays, high-speed taxiways are slated for one of Newark Liberty International Airport's main runways.

The project, which is scheduled to begin in March, is part of the Port Authority's overall rehabilitation of the runway's surface.

"Currently, when a plane lands, most taxiways are angled at about 90 degrees, so a large plane coming in at a high speed has to slow down immensely," said Port Authority spokesman Ron Marsico. "With these high speed taxiways, you have a more gently angled exit ramp for planes and they come off at a faster speed. This saves a few seconds."

While a few seconds may not seem like much, over the course of a day, it adds up when there are hundreds of flights. "The faster a plane can get off a runway means the faster a plane departing on the same runway can take off," said Marsico.

The high-speed taxiways will be added to Newark Liberty's Runway 4R-22L, which is 10,000 feet long and handles approximately 190,000 takeoffs and landings annually. Runway 4R-22L also will be constructed with new asphalt, its electrical system overhauled and two existing taxiways realigned at an estimated cost of $42 million.

"The Port Authority can't control what goes on in the air, but we're trying to do what we can to move planes faster from the gates to the runways and vice versa without compromising safety," said Marsico.

The Port Authority Board of Commissioners also approved authorization for a $27.1 million Engineered Material Arresting System to be installed at Newark Liberty. The system will prevent planes from overshooting the east end of Runway 11/29. The Board also approved two other contracts for taxiway rehabilitation projects, one at Newark Liberty and the other at LaGuardia Airport.

In total, the projects will create more than 340 jobs, $21 million in wages and $104 million in economic activity.