Traffic pattern changing Saturday to accommodate construction near LaGuardia Airport

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Drivers faced major delays heading to and around LaGuardia Airport both Thursday and Friday. Grand Central Parkway seemed like Grand Central parking lot.

And it isn't over, because the Port Authority is changing the traffic patterns entering the airport Saturday morning to accommodate construction.

Starting Saturday at 6 a.m., the westbound Grand Central Parkway exits to LaGuardia will be shifted.

The current exit 6 will be closed. The current exit 7 will be renamed exit 6, which will take motorists to Terminal B and 94th Street.

A new exit 7 will be opened, which will go only to Delta Terminals C and D.

The Port Authority is asking all drivers heading to the airport to be careful.

And the reminder that all travelers heading to LaGuardia should allow extra time when heading out has never been more important.

Construction certainly caused frustrating gridlock outside the terminals on Thursday.

Several access points and exits are temporarily closed due to the work.

Complicating the situation is that the airport was busier than normal because of more than 300 flights canceled Wednesday due to the bad weather.

And this is all happening during the peak of the summer travel season.

Some people even got out of their cars and taxis amid the traffic and walked on exit ramps to get to and from the airport.

Travelers in a hurry to catch their flights had to drag their luggage across the overpass above the Grand Central Parkway.

"I've been flying in and out of this airport for over 10 years and never seen anything like this - it was nuts," said Laura Lewandowski, who was flying to Chicago. "The shuttle was crowded, it was just like kind of one of those perfect storms."

"Today's terrible," said cab driver Jose Betancas. "Not just bad, terrible. I took like 30-40 minutes just to get out from inside LaGuardia."

By late afternoon, it had become the second busiest day in the airport's history.

The Port Authority has increased police presence by over 50 percent to manage the traffic flow.

LaGuardia Airport acknowledged the frustrations on Twitter.


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