Photo Courtesy of the Office of the Governor
The flyover, located at the Grand Central Parkway’s eastbound Exit 7, will be the primary access point for vehicles going to the eastern side of LaGuardia.
By Forum Staff
A recently completed roadway flyover will enhance access and improve traffic flow for travelers driving into LaGuardia Airport, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Tuesday at its ribbon cutting ceremony.
Located at the Grand Central Parkway’s eastbound Exit 7, the new flyover will be the primary access point for vehicles going to the eastern side of LaGuardia where Delta Airlines’ gates are based.
This entry is one of four current access points to LaGuardia, with the others being Grand Central Parkway Westbound Exit 7, 94th Street northbound for local traffic and Marine Terminal Drive off 82nd Street, also for local vehicles. With nearly 18,000 vehicles traveling to LaGuardia daily, the flyover is anticipated to handle 20 percent initially of the airport’s total inbound traffic.
The new flyover is designed to provide a more direct route for vehicles traveling to the eastern side of the airport. Previously, those vehicles had to navigate a labyrinthine route and execute a 360-degree turn, while encountering various traffic lights along the way. Vehicles headed to Terminal B will also benefit by having a new direct connection to the arrivals level, separated from traffic to the other terminals.
“This new flyover will bring immediate relief to travelers driving to LaGuardia Airport, and is a key milestone in our plan to build the nation’s first new airport in more than 20 years and make it a world-class international gateway,” Cuomo said. “While the federal government pays lip service to infrastructure, New York is making historic strides in building a transportation network fit for the 21st century economy.”
The flyover is part of the overall $8 billion modernization of LaGuardia. According to the State, the airport overhaul calls for 26 new planned bridges/flyovers to replace 15 existing bridges and significantly eliminate the need for on-airport traffic signals. Prior to the start of the modernization program, there were 19 traffic signals for drivers to navigate at Terminals B, C and D. Following completion of the modernization project, only three of those 19 traffic signals are expected to remain. Most of the on-airport road crossings will have been eliminated by raising traffic up onto bridges, sometimes three levels high.
Cuomo on Tuesday also announced $1.4 million in new funding for the nonprofit Council for Airport Opportunity, working with Elmcor Youth and Adult Activities and Neighborhood Housing Services, to build a new office in East Elmhurst/Corona near LaGuardia that will focus on providing opportunities for local residents to benefit from the airport’s redevelopment, including: job placement assistance with airport employment opportunities; job development, skills training, and readiness programs; and career counseling, interview preparation, and orientation for success in employment.
“Neighborhood Housing Services of Queens is thrilled to partner with our colleagues at the Council for Airport Opportunity and Elmcor,” said NHS Executive Director Yoselin Genao-Estrella. “We welcome the opportunity to continue to serve as a bridge between local economic opportunities and the residents of Queens. A skilled local hire program will be a game-changer for our local workforce.”