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After decades of delay, LaGuardia remake at last taking flight

After decades of delay,
LaGuardia remake at last taking flight

HOK, PB, walsh and Skanska lead AEC team

by MIKE HRYMAK, with ROB McMANAMY | Aug 3, 2015

When the U.S. Vice President compares a major airport in your state to a third world country, you may have a problem. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo already knew that, of course, as did the 25 million or so unhappy travelers who trudge through aging LaGuardia Airport every year. Last week, with a smiling VP Joe Biden at his side, Cuomo unveiled a massive, $4-billion first phase to a comprehensive plan that will redesign and rebuild New York City's primary, 75-year-old, commercial airport via a sprawling public-private partnership (P3). 

“New York had an aggressive, can-do approach to big infrastructure in the past – and today, we’re moving forward with that attitude once again," said Gov. Cuomo at his July 27 press conference. 

From its existing four terminals, the oft-maligned facility "will be transformed into a single, structurally unified main terminal with expanded transportation access, significantly increased taxiway space, and best-in-class passenger amenities," according to a statement from Cuomo's press office. 

The P3 project is expected to create 8,000 direct jobs and another 10,000 indirect jobs. It will be managed by LaGuardia Gateway Partners (LGP), a "world-class" consortium chosen by owner Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Led by developers Vantage Airport Group and Meridiam Infrastructure, the high-powered team includes a design joint venture pairing HOK and Parsons Brinckerhoff, and a construction joint venture of Skanska USA and Walsh Construction.

Work could begin as early as next January, pending final approval from the Port Authority's board of directors. The majority of this first half of the project is expected to open to passengers in 2019, with full completion scheduled for some 18 months later.

I’ve worked with dozens of states and local governments — this is the first time I have ever had to say to my government partners, ‘Slow down’
— Dan Tishman, Advisory panel Chair

 

"I've worked with dozens of states and local governments -- this is the first time I have ever had to say to my government partners, 'Slow down'," said a pleased Dan Tishman, CEO of Tishman Construction Co., and chairman of the Governor’s Airport Master Plan Advisory Panel. A subsidiary of global giant AECOM, New York City-based Tishman earlier this year also completed the SOM-designed 1 World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan. "For me, this has been an engaging and rewarding experience. This is our vision – this is Gov. Cuomo’s vision – this is reimagining New York.” 

Multimodal plans call for a 'high-speed' ferry, to and from LGA, in and out of the historic Marine Air Terminal.

Multimodal plans call for a 'high-speed' ferry, to and from LGA, in and out of the historic Marine Air Terminal.

LGA's extensive capital redevelopment program is expected to include the demolition of the existing 835,000-sq-ft Central Terminal Building, and associated infrastructure, followed by construction of a new 1.3-million-sq-ft, 35-gate terminal; a new aeronautical ramp; frontage roads that will serve the new terminal; a new central heating and refrigeration plant; and other utilities and site improvements.

If, as expected, the board approves the P3 plan, LGP would be responsible for designing, building, financing, operating, and maintaining the new terminal as part of a 35-year lease. Meanwhile, on a parallel timeline, Delta Air Lines is expected to redevelop its own gates at LaGuardia – completing the second half of the new unified terminal structure. More details to come from Delta on that work.

The full video of Gov. Cuomo's announcement is below. For more on the new program, click here.

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