- Associated Press - Thursday, February 18, 2016

NEW YORK (AP) - The proposed $4 billion transformation of aging LaGuardia Airport took a slight detour Thursday as the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey pushed back a vote to authorize the massive project.

The vote was initially scheduled for Thursday’s board meeting, but a revised agenda Wednesday substituted a resolution for it that will continue preliminary work.

Board members said they need more time to review the project details. They said they expect to take up the matter at the March meeting.

“We looked at it and said, ‘What’s the urgency versus following this path and making sure everyone has a chance to absorb it all,’” Port Authority vice chairman Scott Rechler said. “It enables us to bring a fully negotiated lease to the board next month.”

Executive Director Patrick Foye said he expected to finalize a memorandum of understanding with airlines by next month, initiate a bond offering by April and close financing by May.

The renovation, announced last year by the Port Authority and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, would completely change the 52-year-old airport’s footprint and replace its cramped buildings with a new central terminal. It would also build nearly 2 miles of new taxiways to relieve aircraft congestion.

LaGuardia has been derided by Vice President Joe Biden and others as a “Third World” airport.


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