FLUSHING, Queens (WABC) --Vice President Joe Biden and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo spoke Tuesday at a groundbreaking for renovations at LaGuardia - an airport that Biden likened to "a third world country" in 2014.
With a shovel full of dirt, work began on building a new LaGuardia Airport, a $4 billion state of the art airport in a new public-private partnership.
"It's not going to be a rebuilding of LaGuardia, it's going to be a whole new airport, one unified, contiguous state of the art airport for the first time," said Cuomo.
Cuomo welcomed back Biden for the ground-breaking occasion. It was the Vice President's previous remark that prompted this massive undertaking.
"If I took you blindfolded and took you to LaGuardia Airport in New York, you would have thought it was in some third world country," Biden said at the time.
"The greatest city in the world needs and deserves the greatest infrastructure in the world," Biden said Tuesday.
Port Authority designers then began to piece together the vision of a new facility.
"It's going to be a reconfigured airport which will move closer to Grand Central Parkway by 600 feet, which increases flight operations 240 percent," said Cuomo.
There will also be new rail and ferry connections for passengers.
"Most people who come to New York come right through this airport and this airport has been long overdue for a new airport as we all know," said Cuomo.
So with the turn of a shovel they began this massive project that is expected to take five years to complete.
The overhaul will remake the airport's footprint and build a new central terminal, which should be completed by the end of 2021.