La Guardia Airport’s $8 Billion Overhaul Making Major Headway

LaGuardia from the sky, taken July 12th, image by Andrew Campbell NelsonLaGuardia from the sky, taken July 12th, image by Andrew Campbell Nelson

Things are looking up for North America’s worst airport. Construction is moving along at the LaGuardia Airport renovation and expansion in East Elmhurst, Queens. The $8 billion overhaul of the transport hub hopes to alleviate the airport of its notorious struggle with constant delays and cancellations, a source of national embarrassment and numerous dubious honors, like being ranked the 14th worst airport in the world. LaGuardia Gateway Partners (LGP) is behind the project.

LaGuardia Airport

Redeveloped LaGuardia Airport. Rendering via Curbed NY

The main piece of progress is the new main terminal, set to replace Terminal B by 2020. It will add 1.3 million square feet and create 35 gates. Once complete, the second phase of construction will connect it with Terminals C and D with a nearly mile-long hallway.

Closeup of construction progress in LaGuardia from the sky, taken July 12th, image by Andrew Campbell Nelson

Closeup of construction progress in LaGuardia from the sky, taken July 12th, image by Andrew Campbell Nelson

Concourse B is moving toward the last phase of construction and is expected to open soon, but the elevated walkway will not be finished until 2020. The majority of the façade has already been installed, and interior construction already started earlier this year.

Terminal B mainhouse of LGA redevelopment with facade installation beginning

Terminal B main house of LGA redevelopment with facade installation beginning

The new design maximizes the airport’s space by way of building 600 feet closer to the highway, and including elevated walkways. In total, nearly two miles of taxiways for airplanes will be added to the existing site. This will allow for more fluid traffic on the runways and minimize delays.

Map of construction phases and estimated completion dates for LaGuardia Terminal B, image by Mike Arnot

Map of construction phases and estimated completion dates for LaGuardia Terminal B, image by Mike Arnot

AirTrain LaGuardia is expected to open by 2022, and will finally connect the airport with the subway system, stopping at the Mets-Willets Point station, serviced by the 7 trains. That means it won’t be long until people working by Grand Central and Hudson Yards can take the subway directly to the LGA AirTrain.

The development has been heavily criticized for not going far enough to connect the airport with the city, but Cuomo shows no sign of relenting, with $75 million already dedicated to the project.

Terminal B mainhouse of LGA redevelopment with facade installation and Airtrain supports both going up

Terminal B main house of LGA redevelopment with facade installation and Air Train supports both going up

Construction on the terminal B parking garage has already been finished and it is currently operating.

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