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October 9, 2020 10:30 AM, EDT

N.Y. Leaders Break Ground on Intermodal Hub at Long Island Airport

Groundbreaking at Long Island MacArthur International AirportAirport Commissioner Shelley LaRose-Arken (from left), New York Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul and Regional Director for Empire State Development Cara Longworth at the groundbreaking ceremony. (Daniel Goodrich/Town of Islip)

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New York officials recently announced the groundbreaking for a project to build an intermodal transportation hub at Long Island MacArthur Airport.

The $8.4-million project, announced Oct. 7, is meant to improve transportation infrastructure and facilitate economic development. Located in Ronkonkoma, which is in central Long Island, the airport processes about 5,000 fliers every day.

The new facility, which will be designed to improve traveler access to the airport, was identified in the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council’s strategic plan as an investment to enhance the area’s competitiveness.

New York Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul

Hochul

“Today’s groundbreaking of a new ground transportation facility at MacArthur Airport represents a new gateway to Long Island,” Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul said. “Modernizing our regional airports is critical to boosting business and tourism in our unique and diverse New York State regions, and another example of how we’re building back better than ever before for the post-pandemic future.”

During the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, New York was particularly devastated. According to the New York State Department of Health, there have been 470,104 positive cases of COVID-19 reported in the state as of Oct. 7. Suffolk County, which encompasses Long Island MacArthur Airport, has reported 47,196 positive cases as of Oct. 7.

The project will involve converting an existing building into a facility that can house all modes of transportation needed for travel into and out of the airport. The facility will offer a centralized space for rental cars and provide new homes for the taxi stand and the Suffolk County Transit bus stop. The hub will also include space for the Long Island Rail Road shuttle stop.

“In trying times like the ones we are in, investing in infrastructure will help boost our economy by job creation and expanding tourism on Long Island,” said Sen. Monica Martinez (D-Brentwood). “MacArthur Airport has great potential which must be maximized, and today’s announcement is a step in the right direction not just for Suffolk residents but the entire Long Island region.”

The groundbreaking at Long Island MacArthur Airport represents one of several efforts to improve municipal airports in New York. According to a notice from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office, the state has invested about $316 million over the past five years for projects dedicated to municipal airports. New York has invested $200 million to modernize several upstate airports, including Greater Rochester International Airport, Syracuse Hancock International Airport, Plattsburgh International Airport, Ithaca Tompkins International Airport and Albany International Airport.

Some $21 billion has been devoted to the renewal and modernization of John. F. Kennedy International Airport and LaGuardia Airport, according to the governor’s office.

“Transportation is a key driver of economic growth, and investments that upgrade and modernize these facilities encourage long-term business development and welcome visitors to Long Island and regions across the state,” Empire State Development acting Commissioner Eric Gertler said.

A consolidation of the Department of Economic Development and the Urban Development Corporation, Empire State Development is a department that maintains a goal of promoting a strong economy through investments in infrastructure and workforce development.

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