New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, Vice President of The United States Joe Biden, and a host of officials gathered at LaGuardia Airport on Tuesday to mark the start of construction of the Central Terminal Building – a key milestone for the project that is expected to help grow the airport into a world-class “front door to New York City,” according to the Governor.
LaGuardia will be our largest global project ever, with a 70 percent share of the $4 billion contract, worth about $2.8 billion, and the largest public-private partnership in the United States. As part of LaGuardia Gateway Partners (LGP), Skanska will help to finance, design and build a piece of this critical air hub, which is on pace to set a record in excess of 27 million passengers this year with 34 million anticipated by 2030.
“LaGuardia is a key driver of New York’s economy and transportation network, but for far too long it has been outdated, overcrowded, and unworthy of the Empire State,” Governor Cuomo said at the announcement. “Today, we are not just breaking ground – we are building an entirely new LaGuardia and transforming it into a world-class transportation gateway for the 21st century. This state has always been built to lead and now that legacy continues with this unprecedented project that will drive growth and generate continued prosperity for generations to come.”
The vision for the new LaGuardia includes the world’s first dual pedestrian bridges spanning active aircraft taxi lanes and connecting the terminal to concourses A and B. The plan also includes a new 35-gate Terminal B, Central Hall, West Garage and related roadways and supporting infrastructure. The more than 1.3 million square feet of the new Central Terminal B is expected to achieve LEED Silver certification for sustainable design, a designation of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) by the U.S. Green Building Council.
Vice President Biden explained how the project exemplified what the United States needs the most at the moment – a reinvestment in critical infrastructure to fuel the economy. “The greatest city in the world needs the greatest infrastructure in the world. We rank 26th in the world in transportation infrastructure. How can that stand? New York will make an enormous difference in our economic resurgence.”
The Vice President also lauded the economic activity that will be created by the project – both temporary and permanent – including the union workers that will build the project, which is predicted to generate $1.3 billion in wages and $5.2 billion in regional economic activity, according to PANYNJ.
“Governor Cuomo’s commitment to a modern, 21st Century Central Terminal at LaGuardia carries on the legacy of the airport’s namesake,” said Richard Cavallaro, President and CEO of Skanska USA. “Much like Mayor LaGuardia, who pushed for an airport in the city, the governor’s vision for building a modern facility at LaGuardia through a public-private partnership model not only will make getting to New York City easier for millions of people every year, it is a blueprint for how to smartly rebuild our country’s infrastructure. Skanska is honored to be part of the consortium that is financing and rebuilding an essential part of New York City’s transportation network.”
During construction, the existing terminal will remain fully operational and flights will not be affected. New facilities will begin opening in 2018, with scheduled substantial completion in 2022.
You can watch the entire ceremony here: