Construction on LaGuardia AirTrain Kicks Off This Afternoon

Posted On Tue, June 14, 2016 By

Posted On Tue, June 14, 2016 By In Major Developments, Queens, Transportation

Earlier this month, it was announced that work on Governor Cuomo’s $4 billion overhaul of LaGuardia Airport would begin this summer, and today NY1 reports that a groundbreaking ceremony for the new AirTrain (part of the overall modernization plan) is taking place this afternoon. It will span 1.5 miles along the Grand Central Parkway, connecting with the 7 train and Long Island Railroad at Willets Point. A 2015 estimate put its cost at $450 million.

LaGuardia Airport overhaul-June 2016

When a plan for the AirTrain was first released in January 2015, it faced criticism for taking passengers to Willets Point, which is actually farther than Manhattan. In an op-ed from the time, Anthony Weiner said, “Instead of a train to an already-mobbed Flushing line and its 16 local stops, the better approach is to extend the N/Q terminus in Astoria, so we can have a true one-seat ride and eight stops to ‘the city.’ While the 7 is one of the most fun and interesting lines to travel…it makes little sense to shuttle people and their bags a mile and a half in the wrong direction only to have them get off and hop on a subway.”

Nevertheless, Cuomo’s AirTrain will proceed as he envisioned. Vice President Joe Biden will attend the groundbreaking this afternoon, significant since he famously referred to LaGuardia as a “third world country.”

[Via NY1]

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Map via NY1

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