New York discards train project to LaGuardia Airport

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The state of New York has decided to abandon the $2.1 billion mega-project for an aerial train to LaGuardia Airport, for which Spanish construction companies ACS and OHLA, in partnership with AECOM (USA) and Mitsubishi (Japan), were competing, due to its high cost.

The project, which was put on hold for study in October 2021 by Governor Kathy Hochul, has been definitively discarded after a commission of experts recommended a less costly option consisting of increasing the number of buses and the creation of a shuttle between the subway stations in the area and the airfield, located in the northern part of the borough of Queens, reported EFE.

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“I accept the report’s recommendations and look forward to its immediate implementation by the Port Authority in close coordination with our partners at the Metropolitan Transportation Administration, the city and the federal government,” Hcochul said in a statement.

The plan, which had been proposed by Governor Andrew Cuomo (2011-2021), had an initial cost of $450 million, and would be similar to the skytrain that connects New York’s other airport, JFK with the city’s subway network.

In August 2021, the Port Authority had announced the names of the four finalist groups bidding for the construction of the ill-fated train, among them LGA Xpress Partners, which includes the Spanish companies presided by Florentino Pérez and Luis Amodio.

The train to LaGuardia Airport was one of the flagship infrastructure projects of former Governor Andrew Cuomo, who was forced to resign from office after an avalanche of allegations of sexual abuse as well as malpractice.

The initiative had been the subject of several criticisms launched by politicians and Queens organizations that claimed that the authorities had discarded alternative projects (some of them with less environmental impact and less cost) without giving them the necessary attention.