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.
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.”
- $4B Overhaul of LaGuardia Airport to Begin This Summer, New Renderings
- Governor Cuomo Reveals Renderings for $4 Billion LaGuardia Airport Overhaul
- New LaGuardia AirTrain Will Actually Increase Travel Times, Anthony Weiner Weighs In
Map via NY1