New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, Vice President Joe Biden and other officials were in New York City Monday to officially unveil plans for the complete reconstruction of the city’s cramped, aging LaGuardia Airport, with construction due to start next year.
The multibillion-dollar project will involve the gradual demolition of the existing separate terminals and gate areas, and their replacement with a single modernistic structure. The new terminal will be linked to new gate areas by passenger bridges, and it will be 600 feet closer to the Grand Central Parkway than the existing Central Terminal, allowing more room for aircraft operations.
The governor’s office released several artists’ renderings of what the new LaGuardia will look like (see below).
Plans also call for the development of an AirTrain system to link the airport to Manhattan; a ferry terminal so passengers can travel to and from the city by boat; new terminal roadways; and a hotel/conference center. Security checkpoint areas will be three times their current size, and food and beverage concessions will be expanded.
Although the finished product will be on the same site as the existing LaGuardia, it will essentially be an entirely new airport, officials said — the first one to be built in the U.S. since 9/11.
Officials have said previously that the airport will remain open and operating during the construction, although it is likely to cause some inconveniences for travelers as it progresses. Officials hope to break ground on the project next year, and it could take 2-3 years to complete.
Taxpayers and the private sector are expected to split the cost of the $4 billion reconstruction. Cuomo said that Biden — who last year called LaGuardia a “third world” facility — has been instrumental in speeding up regulatory approvals for the new LaGuardia project. Here’s a link to a video of Cuomo’s remarks.
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