The dip on 10/28 still exists, and will likely exist in some form into the distant future. When we lengthened the runway in the late 80's, a tunnel was built underneath the runway in order to facilitate a road traveling from Veteran Blvd on the north side of the airport to Airline Drive on the south side. That road has not been built (that's a state function I believe), and I don't see it happening for a while.
Being that the section of runway built over the tunnel has a strong foundation, and areas adjacent are subject to the high water table, the adjacent sections tend to sink over time, creating the "dip". I've driven over the dip at high speeds on more than one occasion, and obviously flown over it. It is quite noticeable, especially if we haven't done any repair work for a time. Every 4 or 5 years, we go back and resurface the entire dip area. But, the area does denegrate over time.
Hopefully, the reconstruction of the runway in 2005 (will be full-length concrete with a serious base) will help the situation.
As for the Monteleone alternative, no one around here seriously thinks it's going to happen. For one thing, the logistics involved in creating a taxiway strong enough, with enough foundation, high enough, and that doesn't involve a serious up and then down slope (over Interstate 310) to the runway are tremendous indeed.
As for Southwest gates and their proximity to runways, 28 is the closest for their aircraft on the odd-numbered gates (B-1, 5, 7, 9, 11); 1 is closest for those on the even number gate (B-2, 4, 6, etc). And yes, many times they do take the quick way out (depending on traffic).
Tom at MSY
"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina