NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Frustrating and heavy traffic near LaGuardia Airport could get even worse for drivers.
New traffic patterns in the area start Saturday to accommodate the ongoing construction, CBS2’s Marc Liverman reports.
Westbound Grand Central Parkway exits to LaGuardia will be shifted.
Exit 6 will be closed. The current Exit 7 will be renamed Exit 6, and it will take drivers to Terminal B and 94th Street.
A new Exit 7 will be opened. That will only go to Delta Terminals C and D.
Travelers are especially concerned about traffic problems after backups earlier this week.
The gridlock was so bad Thursday afternoon, some ditched their rides and opted to walk just to try to make their flights. Cell phone video shows a pack of people, including a little girl, dragging their luggage around standstill traffic on the highway leading to LaGuardia Airport. The backup went on for miles.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo spoke with WNYC Radio host Sean Carlson on Friday about the project and the traffic that has come with it.
“We are accelerating construction. It’s being built as fast as any project of its size has ever been built, but there are certain practical realities. You need to operate an airport. You need to build a new airport. You need to do it on a tiny plot of land in a very high volume environment, and traffic on high volume days is an almost unavoidable inconvenience. The good news is the whole project will be about two years, and then New Yorkers are going to have the first new airport in 25 years in the United States of America,” he said.
So far, airport officials haven’t said how long these new traffic patterns will be in effect. It’s unclear if they’ll be used until the construction project is complete.