NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The $8 billion effort to turn LaGuardia into a world-class airport seems to be coming at a cost to its neighbors.
In addition to noise and pollution complaints, many say their homes have sustained significant damage.READ MORE: Funeral Today For NYPD Officer Jason Rivera, 22-Year-Old Killed In Line Of Duty In Harlem
So who’s responsible for paying?
Patrick St. Jean has a newly renovated home in East Elmhurst with cracks on exterior walls and inside too. He says it happened to his Ditmars Boulevard property because it’s closest to the epicenter of current construction at LaGuardia. Pile driving starts most days at 7 a.m. A recording saved on his cell phone shows swaying chandeliers from the activity.
Water creeps in, he says, from fresh cracks along windows.
“It’s several windows that are like that, not just one window,” St. Jean said.
Gregory Campbell lives two houses down, and says it’s been going on for more than a year.
“The glasses are banging together,” he said. “The other day, had a glass fall off the shelf.”
Frank Taylor is president of the Ditmars Boulevard Block Association, and wants the Port Authority to build a tall wall to muffle noise and reduce dust from what he calls a state-funded rush job.READ MORE: Long Island Hoping For Best But Bracing For Worst As Nor'easter Approaches: 'Get Prepared Now'
The blame, says Taylor, falls squarely on Governor Andrew Cuomo.
“The governor can’t see that? The governor doesn’t have people that see that and say ‘wait a minute, this is wrong’?,” Taylor said.
CBS2 demanded answers from Cuomo, who said the full-steam ahead approach is necessary to finish something which will ultimately help, not hurt, their neighborhood.
“The local community has to endure a period of construction,” the governor said. “The alternative would be, build nothing.”
The Port Authority sent engineers to homes, and in some cases left behind vibration monitoring machines.
Some say they don’t trust the results they produce. Residents say they received readouts with graphs, and check marks in green next to the word “PASSED.”
“This is their box, their readings are gonna be whatever they want them to be,” Gregory Campbell said.
CBS2 asked the Port Authority for an on-camera interview, but instead was provided a statement that ends by instructing any resident with damage to contact their office for resolution and possible compensation.MORE NEWS: Health Officials Tracking New 'Stealth' Omicron Variant Spreading In Europe, Detected In U.S.
St. Jean says one estimate for fixing all the damage to his home was upwards of $50,000.