NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo took part Tuesday in a ceremonial groundbreaking Tuesday for a huge project at LaGuardia Airport.

DAs WCBS 880’s Mike Sugerman reported, it was 2015 when Vice President Joe Biden slammed the rundown runways and terminals at LaGuardia.

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“If I took you and blindfolded you and took you to LaGuardia airport in New York — you must think, ‘I must be in some third world country’,” Biden said at the time.

A year later, construction began on the east side of the airport. And on Tuesday, the other foot print dropped on the west side.

“We’re going to build a new airport,” Cuomo said. “It’s going to be smarter, more efficient, more effective than ever before.

Delta and its partners will pay $3.6 billion for the new facility, with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey providing the remaining funding. The construction comes after the airline and the Port Authority agreed on a lease for the facility through 2050.

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Cuomo says the project will generate significant jobs and, when completed, helped spur the entire regional economy.

“Good-paying, great union jobs,” said Queens Borough President Melinda Katz.

The new terminal is a key part of Cuomo’s plans to modernize the aging airport.

The first gates at the new facility are expected to open next year.

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(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)