Work slows down at LaGuardia’s $8 billion project despite COVID-19 “essential project” status

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Wile LaGuardia Airport’s $8 billion rebuilding project has been deemed an “essential project” despite the state-wide COVID-19 shutdown, the pandemic has still drastically slowed down work there, The New York Post reports.

At least 26 people who work at or have passed through the construction area at the airport’s Terminal B — which accounts for $4 billion of the project — have tested positive for the illness, a source told the newspaper.

“A Port Authority spokeswoman confirmed 22 worker exposures,” The Post has reported. “An untold number of workers were directed to quarantine after potential exposure, the sources said.”

Skanska is leading the project in more than 12 separate work areas.  Work at one part of the work, a job site at Terminal B’s western concourse, halted  last month after an employee there tested positive for COVID-19, Skanska spokesman John Schiumo was quoted as saying.

The company disinfected the job site and directed all employees to self-quarantine for two weeks if they were in contact with the infected employee, Schiumo said. There were also problems at the site for Terminal B’s main ticketing area.

The workforce at the site for Terminal B’s main ticketing area was also hit hard by the outbreak, and work halted on a part of that project as well.

Many workers have elected to stay home even though the work can continue on the site.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on April 2 it was vital that construction at LaGuardia carry on.

“A lot of these projects, once you start you can’t just stop,” said Cuomo. “Those airports are still functioning, planes are still coming in. LaGuardia is a whole configuration of physical barriers and alternate routes pending construction, so a project like that would be very, very difficult to freeze and then unfreeze.”

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