$4B LaGuardia Terminal Reno Tops Off

THURSDAY, MARCH 3, 2022


At the end of January, after a nearly six-year renovation of Terminal B at New York City’s LaGuardia Airport, the project’s second skybridge officially opened to the public.

According to a spokesperson for LaGuardia Gateway Partners (LGP), the topping of the $4 billion terminal renovation marks the final milestone for the project.

Some LaGuardia Project Background

In July of 2015, former Gov. Andrew Cuomo revealed a massive plan to remake LaGuardia Airport from the ground up—rebuilding Terminals B, C and D—totaling 2.5 million square feet—to improve the overall impression and atmosphere for passengers and expanding exterior space to ease ground congestion.

At the time, the plan called for demolition and redevelopment of existing structures to make way for a new “grand entryway” 600 feet closer to the Grand Central Parkway, the main highway serving the airport.

Partners in the project include the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, LGP and Delta—who are both planning on leasing their terminals from the Port Authority until 2050. LGP is composed of several firms, including:

  • Vantage Airport Group—which manages nine airports across three continents and has transitioned 19 airports from public to private management;
  • Skanska and Walsh Construction—construction joint venture;
  • HOK and Parsons Brinckerhoff—design joint venture; and
  • Vantage, Skanska and Meridiam—a global infrastructure investment fund.

At the time, the Port Authority reported that it would be providing roughly 50% of the funding for the $8 billion project, with private partners kicking in the remainder of the bill.

In addition to renovating the terminals, other work includes the construction of a central utilities plant; eight miles of road, including 20 bridges; airside facilities; and a 2,700-space parking garage. Work for these projects was being completed by 28 unions and a team of 2,400 professional and trade workers.

By 2017, crews began working on Delta Air Lines’ $4 billion part of the project, which takes place at Terminals C and D. Terminal B makes up the other $4 billion of the project’s price tag. (Its first 18-gate new concourse opened in December 2018.)

In October 2019, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey's Board of Commissioners approved the investment of approximately $4.5 billion for projects that aim to accommodate the continued record passenger growth at three of the Port’s major airports, which included LaGuardia.

By May 2020, Cuomo announced plans for a “supercharged” reopening of New York City, which involved a fast-track for multiple infrastructure plans, including the work at LaGuardia. In addition to the governor’s announcement, Delta also revealed that it was looking to finish construction “much, much sooner” than originally planned, taking advantage of reduced airport traffic amid the COVID-10 pandemic.

The initial plan was to work on one concourse at the time in order to preserve gate capacity and limit the impact on travelers. With capacity less of an issue, however, more than one concourse can be redeveloped at the same time.

The Terminal B Arrivals and Departures Hall opened the following month in June and serves American Airlines, United Airlines, Southwest Airlines and Air Canada. The redesigned, 850,000-square-foot, four-story central terminal has 35 gates across two concourses and features 17 concessions of New York-based businesses as well as four permanent public at installations commissioned by the Public Art Fund.

That fall, Terminal B was reported to be nearly complete, and an update on other aspects of the project included:

  • Work was progressing on the Central Hall, which will connect the new Terminal B to the new Terminal C. Glass panel installation at North and South curtain walls reached completion. Trim work and interior framing work are also ongoing.
  • For the Western Concourse, the first seven gates (of 17 total) were open to the public. Work was continuing on the second phase, which includes the remaining 10 gates. Pile driving reached completion and work was underway to frame and pour the foundations. Steel erection was slated to begin at the end of October.
  • Demolition of the C gates within the decommissioned Central Terminal B was completed in October.
  • Work was also progressing on demolishing the Terminal Building, moving from west to east. The expectation was that the remaining portion of the decommissioned terminal building would be removed by the end of the year. 

In addition, a 450-foot-long pedestrian bridge was in the works to connect two new concourses to Terminal B. According to Engineering News Record, the steel trusses are fortified by customized, molded glass-fiber-reinforced gypsum or glass-fiber-reinforced concrete segments.

In May 2021, the first new skybridge at Terminal B, which serves the eastern concourse, officially opened to the public. The structure stands 65 feet above the ground and measures 420 feet long.

A few months later, in July, the Federal Aviation Administration was reported to approve a $2 billion AirTrain. According to Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton at the time of the announcement, the LaGuardia AirTrain would create 3,000 union construction jobs and more than $500 million in business contracting opportunities for minority and women-owned businesses and local, Queens-based businesses.

Plans for the connectivity improvement project were nixed by New York Gov. Kathy Hochul later that same year, however. According to reports, the Port Authority and LaGuardia officials are currently looking at other possible transit links, such as an extension of the N train from the Astoria neighborhood, as alternative solutions.

Although not officially completed, the airport renovation received the 2021 UNESCO 2021 Prix Versailles global architecture and design award for best new airport. For its sustainability efforts, it has also received the LEED Gold certification. Upon completion, Terminal B will be able to provide 43% in water savings and an 18% reduction in energy costs.

Terminal B Tops Off

Having completed its second skybridge, project officials report that LaGuardia’s Terminal B renovation—currently valued at $5.1 billion—is now about 95% complete.

The 485-foot skybridge was constructed using 2,500 tons of steel. Standing 60 feet above the ground and totaling 34,000 square feet, the skybridge offers passengers a direct route between the western concourse and the Arrivals and Departures Hall.

Throughout construction efforts, the side-by-side design allowed for the new span to be erected without interrupting terminal operations. The designs also provided the airport with two additional miles of taxiway space.

HOK

Having completed its second skybridge, project officials report that LaGuardia’s Terminal B renovation—currently valued at $5.1 billion—is now about 95% complete.

According to reports, LaGuardia is the only airport in the world to have dual pedestrian skybridges.

Project lead, Vantage, adds that the renovation is the largest public-private partnership in U.S. aviation, having received about $2.5 billion in funding from project bonds, $1.5 billion from the Port Authority and $200 million in equity from LGP principal shareholders.

Remaining work on the project involves the demolition of the final piece of the original terminal so that the remaining gates and the taxiway underneath the new western skybridge can be opened. Skanska-Walsh is currently working to complete this final task of the renovation project.

In a press release, LGP said that the project is on track to be completed on time and on budget. An LGP spokesperson also noted to reporters, “LaGuardia Gateway Partners made a commitment to all of our partners and investors to deliver the new Terminal B on time and on budget. Thanks to our innovative phasing plan, teamwork, tireless effort and skilled work, we are achieving this.”

   

Tagged categories: Airports; Color + Design; Commercial / Architectural; Design; LEED; Maintenance + Renovation; Maintenance programs; Mass transit; NA; North America; Ongoing projects; Program/Project Management; Project Management; Projects - Commercial; Public Transit; Renovation; Terminals

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