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$2B LAX People Mover Project Hits Key Milestones

The $2 billion people mover project at Los Angeles International Airport hit two key milestones in August.

On Aug. 5, the final structural beam was placed for the last and largest of the six train stations along the 2.25-mile route for the automated people mover. The beam was set into place as part of the topping-out for the west Central Terminal Area station near the Tom Bradley International Terminal that will also connect to Terminals 3, 4 and 5 with elevated bridges.

That 1.2 million-square-foot station contains nearly 2,000 tons of structural steel, along with glass walls and coated metal panel cladding. It will feature an open space with a programmable 800-square-foot LED screen and public art from L.A.-based creators.
The completion of the outer structure of all the train stations comes about three months after the completion of the construction of the elevated guideway.

“The completion of station structural steel marks another significant step forward for the project,” said Sam Choy, project director for the prime contractor consortium LINXS Constructors. “After construction on the stations is completed later this year, we can begin testing the system’s automated vehicles and prepare the system for public use.”

In the other related development, the first three of those automated train cars were recently delivered by Bombardier, which has built several automated people mover systems around the globe. The former Canadian company was acquired last year by Alstom SA, headquartered in Saint-Ouen-Sur-Seine in France. The cars were debuted at a press conference on Aug. 2.

“The automated people mover will be so much more than another way to get to LAX – it’s the piece of the puzzle that will curb the congestion that has been plaguing our airport for decades,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said at the press conference. “As we welcome the first car that will whisk travelers to renovated terminals, parking structures, Metro rail, and a new rental car facility, it’s clear that a completely reimagined LAX is on the horizon.”
The first train car arrived in June after a cross-country journey from the Alstom factory in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In total, 44 train cars will make the journey to LAX.

The driverless train system for the people mover was specifically designed for flexible operations in both urban and airport transportation. During peak hours from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., the trains will arrive at stations every two minutes, with an end-to-end run time of 10 minutes. The train cars feature wide doors for easy access with luggage, large windows for viewing, 12 seats and several hand holds.

“These Automated People Mover train cars will set a high standard for environmentally sustainable transportation, having shells made of recyclable materials and achieving zero emissions,” Justin Erbacci, LAWA’s chief executive, said in the announcement. “We look forward to seeing the cars in action when we begin testing them in 2023.”

Alstom subsidiary Bombardier was one of seven prime contractors in the consortium called LAX Integrated Express Solutions, or LINXS, that was awarded the contract to construct and operate the people mover system in 2018. At the time, it was the largest single contract in L.A. city history.The other six companies in the consortium are: Fluor Corp. (headquartered in Irving, Texas); Balfour Beatty (London); ACS Infrastructure Development (Coral Gables, Florida.); Dragados USA (New York); Hochtief PPP Solutions (Essen, Germany); and Flatiron Construction (Broomfield, Colorado).

Three of the companies — ACS Infrastructure, Dragados USA and Hochtief — are subsidiaries of Madrid-based Grupo ACS, one of the largest infrastructure companies in the world with roughly $31 billion in 2021 revenue.

Howard Fine
Howard Fine
Howard Fine is a 23-year veteran of the Los Angeles Business Journal. He covers stories pertaining to healthcare, biomedicine, energy, engineering, construction, and infrastructure. He has won several awards, including Best Body of Work for a single reporter from the Alliance of Area Business Publishers and Distinguished Journalist of the Year from the Society of Professional Journalists.
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