A major milestone was reached last month at Los Angeles International Airport as the last concrete was poured for the 2.25-mile elevated guideway structure for the automated people mover, the centerpiece of the airport’s $5.5 billion program to modernize road and rail access, according to an announcement from Los Angeles World Airports.
The $2 billion automated people mover is an electric train system intended to convey passengers from the terminals at LAX to a station connecting to the Metro Crenshaw-LAX and C (Green) rail line and then on to a consolidated car-rental facility.
The contract to construct the guideway was awarded in 2018 to a consortium of seven prime contractors called LAX Integrated Express Solutions, or LINXS. The contractor companies are:
• Fluor Corp. (headquartered in Irving, Texas);
• Balfour Beatty (London);
• ACS Infrastructure Development (Coral Gables, Fla.);
• Dragados USA (New York);
• Hochtief PPP Solutions (Essen, Germany);
• Flatiron Construction (Broomfield, Colo.); and
• Bombardier Transportation, which was acquired early last year by Alstom SA, headquartered in Saint-Ouen-Sur-Seine in France.
Bombardier, which has built several automated people-mover systems around the globe, will provide the people mover operating system, including the train cars.
Construction of the concrete guideway began in November 2019 with the first underground support columns being placed, followed by the first column pours in January 2020 and the first guideway segment pour in September of that year. According to LAWA, a total of 69,700 cubic yards of concrete were poured since 2019 to complete the structure, taking more than 1 million work hours.
“The completion of the guideway is a remarkable milestone for the project as we are one step closer to realizing a new transportation experience at one of the world’s busiest airports,” said Sam Choy, project director at LINXS Constructors. “We’ll soon build off of this accomplishment with train car testing later this year.”
The last major pour for the guideway structure took place over Sepulveda Boulevard and was completed on April 1 after two-and-a-half months of construction. It was the last of three bridges on the project, the first of which was completed over Century Boulevard last December. The other span, built over a parking structure in the central terminal horseshoe, was fully connected in March. Each of these three sections was constructed one short segment at a time with a traveling form system.
The concrete segments were cast in formwork and supported by larger traveling platforms. After the segments were formed and cured, the traveling platforms would move farther ahead to help form the next segment. According to LAWA’s announcement, with the guideway structure now complete, work will continue on building support structures for the train cars to ride on, as well as construction of the emergency walkway on the guideway.
As for the six train stations on the people mover route, the last steel will be placed for the Center and West Central Terminal Area stations in the coming months. The train maintenance and storage facility will be electrified this summer..
The entire people mover project is slated to be completed sometime next year. In 2024, Metro’s station connecting the people mover with the Crenshaw-LAX line is scheduled for completion. When that occurs, the long-sought goal of a direct rail transit connection to LAX will be a reality.