The following is a look at some of the biggest construction projects underway in New York state, with details on how they are progressing.
In June of 2016, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that renovations had begun on LaGuardia Airport’s decades-old terminals. An estimated $8 billion is being spent on the two-part project.
The first part is a redesign of Terminal B, also known as the Central Terminal Building – changing it into a 1.3 million-square-foot terminal with 37 gates and a grander main entrance. The second part, which began last year, is set to connect the Delta-operated C and D terminals to this new facility, an undertaking designed to move the airport closer to the highway and expand aircraft taxiways to reduce delays. A new roadway network, the now-open West Parking Garage and an AirTrain between the airport and the Mets-Willets Point No. 7 subway station are intended to improve transportation connections to the airport.
In its entirety, the renovation is expected to be done by 2026, although the governor’s office said Terminal B would be open to the public in 2019 and be fully completed by 2021. Work on Concourse A is set to be completed by 2022.
John F. Kennedy International Airport is expected to reach full capacity by the mid-2020s, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office. In response, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey selected a team in September 2017 to do the initial engineering and design of the airport’s $10 billion redevelopment.
The team will prioritize six goals: interconnecting terminals, redesigning roadways into a circular configuration, centralizing and expanding parking lots within that ring road configuration, building retail and conference facilities, expanding airplane taxiways and adding flight slots, and adding security technology. There are also plans to expand new terminals and redevelop old ones to improve both road and mass transit access to the airport.
While construction hasn’t started, the project is reportedly “moving forward” and “extensive discussions continue with all terminal operators.” An announcement regarding the first phase of redevelopment is expected in the near future.
Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge
Construction on the Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge began in 2013. It replaced the Tappan Zee Bridge that connected Rockland and Westchester counties, with the first span opening in August 2017. The construction of the new bridge and demolition of the old one was set to be done by April, meaning the project missed its deadline. The second span was then scheduled to be opened for traffic in September, with four lanes going in each direction. There’s no word on when the demolition of the old Tappan Zee Bridge will be completed.
Penn Station complex
The $3 billion project to transform Penn Station and the adjacent James A. Farley Post Office into a “world-class transportation hub” looks to address the overcrowded train complex. Inside, Penn Station would be altered to include expanded corridors, natural sunlight, reconfigured connectivity between the street and lower level, and upgrades to signage and wayfinding facilities. Pedestrians on the street would see retail and commercial space and a number of new entrances. An underground pedestrian pathway is in the works to connect Penn Station to the old post office, which is being converted into the Moynihan Train Hall. Construction on Moynihan Train Hall began in August 2017, and the entire project is expected to be completed by 2020.
Gateway rail tunnel
The Gateway Program is a set of projects to upgrade and expand passenger rail service on both sides of the Hudson River, which includes a new rail tunnel and the rehabilitation of the existing century-old tunnel from New Jersey to Manhattan. Citing the impact improvements would have on the nation’s GDP, the Obama administration had agreed to pay for half of the costs (projected to exceed $30 billion). The Trump administration is opposing providing federal funding, but Congress fortunately set aside money that can be used for Gateway anyway, and local officials have reworked the funding plan to make up for the lack of federal support. Expected to be completed by 2030, aspects of the project have started moving forward incrementally.
Buffalo waterfront transformation
In August, a $24 million plan was announced to improve recreation opportunities for local residents and enhance Buffalo’s tourism sector, which it said generated $3 billion in direct visitor spending last year. The first project is the $10 million transformation of a two-acre area near the water where the old Memorial Auditorium used to be located. The state plans to build walkable streets with “elements of the historic street pattern” and an underground area for parking to set the stage for future development. A request for proposals is supposed to go out in the fall. The second project will be a $4 million replica of a vessel – Gov. DeWitt Clinton’s 1825 Erie Canal packet boat – that will be housed in a 4,000-square-foot facility. Finally, the state plans to build a $10 million Buffalo Blueway – a network of waterway public access points.