$2b LaGuardia AirTrain Project Could Begin in June

Joe Biden once compared LaGuardia to a third world country. That’s when authorities knew it was time to do something.

Source : New York Governor's Office

March 16, 2021

Author : Alex Bustillos

Now, as Terminal B renovation wraps up, the Federal Aviation Commission has published the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the LaGuardia Airport Access Improvement Project (AirTrain). The $2 billion project to connect the airport to Midtown Manhattan in under 30 minutes follows the $8 billion Terminal B and Terminal C renovations at the airport.

“Access to LaGuardia is a serious challenge with no direct rail link – the only major East Coast airport lacking one – and travel times by car are only getting worse,” according to A Whole New LaGuardia, the name for the joint venture of the New York and New Jersey Port Authority.

“Today, LGA passengers and employees depend on roadway-based vehicles for their trip to the airport. Nearly 90 percent of passengers arrive to the airport by private vehicle. 50 percent of LGA passengers are coming from or going to Manhattan; with more than 25 percent of all LGA passengers coming from or going to Midtown.”

“Eighteen different federal, state and local agencies have provided input throughout the EIS process based on their expertise and authorities,” states the FAA’s press release.

“The AirTrain involves construction of an approximately two mile long elevated rail system with three stations: two on airport and one off airport,” the press release adds. “There will also be passenger walkways connecting to the LGA Central Hall, which provides access to Terminal B and C, parking garages, public transportation, and ground transportation facilities.”

The FAA will make a final decision on whether to move ahead on the project in the next 30 days. Assuming it’s approved, construction will commence in June and finish up in December 2025.

Earlier this year, authorities showcased the completely redone Terminal B. The almost-finished project “is the largest public-private partnership in US aviation history.”

“The redevelopment includes a new 35-gate terminal, a Central Hall, a parking garage, related roadways and supporting infrastructure – all with innovative construction phasing, including building over-top of the current operation, to allow the terminal to remain fully functional while under construction,” according to A Whole New LaGuardia.

Additionally, “dual pedestrian bridges will span active aircraft taxi lanes – a first in the world – and connect the main part of the terminal to two island concourses.”

Rick Cotton, executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey appears particularly proud of the five major art installations. 

While Terminal B is wrapping up its renovation project, Terminal C, which will replace the existing one as well as the existing Terminal D, is expected to finish up in 2022. 

“The terminal will consist of 37 flexibly sized gates that can accommodate Delta’s full fleet,

distributed among four concourses connected by a centralized check-in lobby, security checkpoint and baggage claim,” authorities say.

“The facility will offer larger gate areas and more seating, as well as 30 percent more concessions space than its existing facilities.”

Category : Investment in Infrastructure Public-Private Partnership State Government Airports

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