Workers complete the last concrete pour at at an LAX parking facility.

Workers complete the last concrete pour at at an LAX parking facility.

After nearly a decade of planning and site preparation work, the $5.5 billion program to improve ground access to Los Angeles International Airport is now moving full throttle.

Heavy construction is proceeding on all the major components, including the $2 billion automated people mover, the $1 billion consolidated car rental facility, a $220 million intermodal transportation parking facility and several major roadway improvements.

The aim of these ground access improvements is to ease traffic flow around LAX and allow passengers to finally be able to connect by rail with the airport’s terminals. It’s all part of the $14 billion LAX modernization program that also includes billions of dollars in terminal construction and renovations and airfield improvements.

The centerpiece of the ground access program is the people mover, which will connect the terminals, two intermodal facilities for passengers to connect with bus and rail lines and the consolidated car rental facility.

Work is scheduled to be completed by 2026, well in advance of the 2028 Summer Olympic Games.

“Construction crews continue to make great progress on the $5.5 billion Landside Access Modernization Program and additional projects, including the Airport Police Facility,” Bernardo Gogna, chief development officer with Los Angeles World Airports, said in an email.

“We are looking forward to 2021 when the police facility and the first element of LAMP, the Intermodal Transportation Facility–West, will both be completed,” he added.

Construction crews have been able to take advantage of reduced passenger traffic at the airport as the Covid-19 pandemic has sharply reduced air travel.

According to a construction update earlier this month by Los Angeles World Airports, crews on the people mover project are in the midst of building the elevated guideway that will carry the rail cars, as well as some of the stations that will serve as passenger pickup and drop off points in the central terminal area.

The people mover project is being led by a consortium of seven contractors known as LAX Integrated Express Solutions, or LINXS. The primary contractors are Irving, Texas-based Fluor Corp. and Flatiron Construction Corp. of Broomfield, Colo. The people mover is set for completion in 2023.

On the consolidated car rental facility, construction crews led by Edmonton, Alberta-based general contractor PCL Construction Services Inc. have poured concrete for the second level of the four-level project.

That level will hold facilities for car returns and quick turnaround of vehicles for rental customers. The 6.4-million-square-foot facility is located just off the 405 freeway, about 2 miles east of the airport terminals.

On the intermodal transportation parking structure, general contractor Swinerton Builders of San Francisco is leading crews for the fourth parking level. The first two levels have already been completed.

The entire structure is set for completion next year and will hold more than 4,700 vehicles as drivers connect with the people mover to reach the airport terminals.

At the central terminal area, work is continuing on three multilevel vertical structures called terminal cores. These structures are designed to allow passengers to move easily between baggage carousels and people mover stations.

Core structures are under construction next to Terminal 4, the area between Terminals 6 and 7 and next to the Tom Bradley International Terminal. The work is being done under a $337 million contract awarded to general contractor Austin Commercial Inc. of Dallas.

Separately, airport officials announced earlier this month that the final concrete pour was completed for a four-story parking facility next to a new $220 million headquarters building for the Airport Police that is also under construction.

This new facility, slated to open next year, will consolidate operations from eight separate locations under one roof just north of the central terminal area in Westchester.

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