$4 billion redevelopment of aging LaGuardia Airport approved
Mar 25 2016
Gordon and Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean, R-Union, said they will invite Port Authority Chairman John Degnan, New Jersey Transit Acting Executive Director Dennis Martin and other transportation experts and advocates to testify at the hearing.
But Degnan countered that there "is no free money", and "we're paying for it all", pointing out that LGP will reap operating revenues from the new airport that, if the Port Authority had undertaken the project alone, would have gone back into public coffers. The agency's $27.6 billion 10-year capital plan adopted in 2014 calls for spending $8 billion on the New York City area's three major airports, $1.5 billion for extending the PATH commuter railroad from lower Manhattan to Newark Liberty International Airport and billions more to maintain assets such as the George Washington Bridge and the Lincoln Tunnel.
The design commission - launched March the 11th - comes at a time when the Port Authority commissioners are divided over whether to build a larger terminal in mid-town Manhattan or a smaller terminal in New York City and a second terminal in North Jersey.
Under a deal announced Thursday, New York's top appointee on the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey agreed to abandon his push to build a replacement for the 66-year-old depot next to a train station in Secaucus, New Jersey. "The costs that Degnan is weaving into this higher projection have nothing to do with the redevelopment we're planning".
The new airport is also scheduled to connect to Andrew Cuomo's controversial AirTrain connection from Willets Point, and a ferry terminal.
The decision follows a string of delays, as recently as last month, when the board chose to table the vote until today so it could further review the agreement. Lipper pressed to have the Port Authority board have a greater say in approving contracts. The agency's executive director, Pat Foye, rejected that reasoning. According to a calculation that Degnan had the agency's staff produce, the terminal project will total $5.3 billion, about 30% higher than an earlier estimate of $4 billion.
LaGuardia Gateway Partners will also build new roads, utilities, runway improvements, a new West Parking Garage and other infrastructure.