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LaGuardia is changing. The smallest and arguably most dilapidated of New York’s three airports is getting a huge, very expensive makeover with the first major results visible this fall. The airport is famously hard to reach using mass transit, something that will change in 2022, although not with a direct subway line but with an AirTrain from the subway, like at JFK.
On Thursday, a new flyover opened to get cars directly to terminals and to limit traffic.
According to ABC 7 New York, there are “nearly 18,000 vehicles traveling to LaGuardia daily,” and the flyover is anticipated to initially handle 20 percent of the airport’s total inbound traffic.”
Governor Andrew Cuomo himself seems pretty amped up about it, stating that, “This new flyover will bring immediate relief to travelers driving to LaGuardia Airport and is a key milestone in our plan to build the nation’s first new airport in more than 20 years and make it a world-class international gateway.” (It’s not really a new aiport, just rebuilt terminals, with easier access.)
“While the federal government pays lip service to infrastructure, New York is making historic strides in building a transportation network fit for the 21st century economy,” Gov. Cuomo said.
The entire airport modernization project was announced in 2015 and altogether costs a whopping $8 billion. So TPG set out to try the flyover on its openining day, and on its first morning at least it lived up to the claims.
The new flyover is off Exit 7 on the Grand Central Parkway coming from Manhattan.
It was a breeze. The Lyft driver said that without the new ramp, he would have had to circle around a couple times to get to Terminal C, where we were headed.
Of course, this is nowhere near even getting close to seeing the end of the LGA work. It will be a while, for example, before the brand new Delta terminal set to come in 2021.
All photos by the author.
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