LaGuardia Airport’s pricey overhaul is now underway, but as many had predicted and expected, the project is already beset by troubles. The Wall Street Journal paints a chaotic picture of traffic congestion, and commuters having to wait for hours to get in and out of the airport in a story published over the weekend.
Construction first got underway around the set of roadways making their way to Terminal B with two lanes in the arrival section shut off for work. This has created narrower lanes and longer wait times with passengers often getting off on the highway and walking to the terminal to get past the congestion.
Passengers waiting to leave the airport complained to the WSJ that it was becoming increasingly difficult to coordinate with Uber drivers, and cab drivers complained that it was often taking them up to two hours to get in and out of the airport, from what was previously at most an hour long trip.
The $5.3 billion overhaul of Terminal B will be followed by the $4B renovation of Terminals C & D, which is expected to get underway next year. The overall project will only wrap up in 2024, and this has critics of the projects worried that the Port Authority did not plan adequately ahead of time.
The worries from commuters and passengers have also passed on to airlines operators who are concerned that the construction will lead to flight delays. A spokesperson for the project told the WSJ that the PA regularly updates its website and provides alerts in regards to delays, and that travelers should plan to reach the airport at least two hours ahead of time.
Another official told the WSJ that the PA would soon add temporary roadways that would ease the congestion by this fall, and that once the new roadways and parking garage are complete by 2018, the traffic conditions would be improved significantly.