WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff lands LaGuardia AirTrain planning work

Written by Railway Age Staff
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The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey selected WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff to conduct preliminary engineering and other planning work for a new AirTrain connection to LaGuardia Airport.


The number of passengers using rail-less LaGuardia is expected to increase by more than 6 million, to 34 million, annually by 2030, and the AirTrain is seen as essential to accommodating that growth.

Parsons will lead the preliminary planning work for three different components of the project:

  • Construction of up to two new AirTrain stations at the new terminal buildings at the airport.
  • Construction of an AirTrain station at Willets Point, just east of the airport in Queens.
  • Construction related to the right-of-way for the train from the airport to Willets Point.

“The new AirTrain will improve passenger experience, reduce traffic congestion and serve as a key part of the modernization and transformation of LaGuardia into a world-class airport,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. “LaGuardia Airport is an essential part of New York’s economy and transportation network, and by providing additional transit options we will support new economic opportunities and growth throughout the region.”

The LaGuardia AirTrain will serve a planned three-station complex at Willets Point, offering seamless transfers between completely new Long Island Railroad and MTA subway stations to be built over the next five years.

The LIRR link will facilitate a 30-minute ride to the airport from the Grand Central Terminal and NY Penn Station rail hubs, as well as to commuters coming from Long Island.

Parsons will analyze and assess alignment alternatives; conduct a geotechnical review; create a conceptual design for both the train right-of-way and the stations, and develop cost estimates for the project. As part of the planning, the firm also will conduct a detailed ridership analysis, analyze public-private partnerships and other options to identify the most advantageous financing plan for the AirTrain, as well as evaluate expanded parking and centralized car rental operations at the Willets Point station.

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