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Airport Road, the northern artery that dives down just past Horace Williams Airport and then climbs up to Franklin Street and the campus, will be renamed Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
The Chapel Hill Town Council approved the change in a unanimous vote Dec. 6, concluding months of emotional debate that included charges that a committee formed to study the change had been stacked with people in favor of the change.
The change is to take effect by July 4. New street signs will include markers to recall “Historic Airport Road.”
Until fairly recently, the road was a mostly rural extension of N.C. 86 from Hillsborough into Chapel Hill to the airport. Development has transformed it into an urban artery that could become an even more significant thoroughfare if the University proceeds with plans to develop the airport and surrounding property it owns.