John F. Kennedy International Airport will join two other major New York City-area airports in major upgrades getting underway. Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) on Jan. 4 proposed a $10-billion makeover for JFK and nearby infrastructure as part of a $100-billion state infrastructure plan he announced last year. The upgrade announcement follows an $8-billion renovation at LaGuardia Airport and a $2.3-billion face-lift at Newark Liberty International Airport in Newark, N.J. In its current form, JFK would reach capacity in the mid-2020s.
The proposed JFK work would include interconnecting terminals, which currently are separated; redesigning on-airport roadways, for easier access to terminals; and expanding the airport’s parking lot and taxiways, among other upgrades. Amenities such as fine dining and duty-free shopping also are included in the plans. Further, lane additions are proposed for the Van Wyck Expressway, a major roadway leading to the airport, to lessen traffic.
The construction set for JFK is expected to cost about $8 billion, while the work to the expressway is estimated at $1.5 billion to $2 billion. The project will be financed using a public-private partnership, similar to the approach being used for the LaGuardia Airport project, for which over two-thirds of funding is coming from private-sector investors and participants. The JFK proposal outlined an intent to raise up to $7 billion in private capital.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey released a $32 billion, 10-year capital-plan draft on Jan. 5, following Cuomo’s announcement. The plan drew criticism from New Jersey lawmakers who say infrastructure projects such as the JFK and LaGuardia renovations are being prioritized over necessary renovations to the Port Authority Bus Terminal, in Manhattan. While the bus-terminal project has been allotted $3.5 billion, the port authority estimates the cost at roughly $10 billion. The authority’s board of commissioners will vote on the final draft of the plan in February, following two public outreach meetings.