Sh*t Gets More and More Expensive: LaGuardia’s Makeover Will Now Cost $5.3 Billion
In a report that surprises absolutely nobody, it turns out revamping LaGuardia just keeps getting more and more expensive.
Remember in June when we got super excited about a $4 billion makeover for this, the single worst place to travel to and from in America?
Remember more than a month ago when that $4 billion price tag inched up a couple million and turned into $4.2 billion? We do.
Things just get better and better.
The Wall Street Journal reported that those numbers have jumped yet again to “accurately reflect the true costs of the project.”
How much of a jump? Can you call it a jump? Doesn’t it just sound a little crazy when we use personification on cold, lifeless things like numbers? Who tells the numbers to jump, and do they ask how high?
Those are mostly unsolvable mysteries.
What we can tell you is that the projected costs, again, revised to accurately reflect the true costs of the project (according to Port Authority Chairman John Degnan), have gone up from the cold $4 billion in June to $5. 3 Billion as of Friday, March 18th.
How did we get here? That’s a long story, but it starts as any good bridge-and-tunnel romance does with good ol’ tension on both sides of the river.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the airport’s operator, have struggled to really focus on the project as they contemplate a much more holistic approach to transit improvements in replacing an aging Midtown Manhattan bus terminal and digging two new Hudson River rail tunnels.
Who’s in charge? It’s a shared experience, as are the best ones in human history, though the characters at the forefront leave much to be desired. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey’s own Donald Trump hostage, Governor Chris Christie.
Chris Christie appointed the Port Authority Chairman John Degnan, and Degnan has become increasingly irritated with the lack of focus. It just keeps getting bigger and bigger.
There’s a lot to unpack in this. There’s a lot going on and nobody seems to have a good handle on it. There’s the new Port Authority Bus Terminal at an estimated cost of $10 billion, but a kind of wishy-washy approach on whether that should take priority over a new facility in New Jersey.
Degnan (remember: appointed by New Jersey Gov.) advocated to speed up that construction in Manhattan, but for some reason New Yorkers are busy contemplating if it’s the best idea.
laguardia_airport With so many restaurants now open at #LGA, travelers have unlimited options to celebrate #CincodeMayo today. 📷 @warptrio
They also have a decent grasp on how much replacing LaGuardia’s Terminal B, but not a solid grasp on how they connect Terminals C and D to the rest of the airport so it’s not such a confusing sh*t show.
Sounds like a puzzle in a box wrapped in a ball of poop that keeps getting volleyed and forth across the river by people with clubbed hands in the world’s worst game of badminton ever. This is the antithesis of tunnel vision.
Meanwhile, these costs keep going up, and there’s not much in hoping that won’t continue. According to the Wall Street Journal, the new $5.3 billion estimate also reflects cost increases since the $2 million bump in February.
Those jumps include a whopping $225 million related to Port Authority staff and overhead costs (up 53% since last month), and $190 million for “external consultants” (a dubious designation, indeed), which nearly double the February estimate.
Translation, costs are climbing while Port Authority essentially does nothing.
So, who knows when construction will actually begin? Who knows what the final estimates will entail? No, seriously. We’re asking. We want to know.