The pedestrian bridge at LAX is constructed with partially prefabricated steel trusses.

The pedestrian bridge at LAX is constructed with partially prefabricated steel trusses.

More visible signs of construction related to the people mover project are now appearing at Los Angeles International Airport.

Last month, workers for the contractor consortium building the people mover completed construction of trusses for the first of six bridges that will connect the terminals with the people mover tracks.

The consortium, LINXS Constructors, completed work on June 14 for four trusses to support a bridge connecting the Terminal 4.5 extension between Terminals 4 and 5 with a people mover station that’s also under construction.

This follows the completion in late May of Terminal 1.5 — the extension of Terminal 1 used by Southwest Airlines that will enable another direct connection to the people mover.

And it preceded by a week the groundbreaking for the Metro Airport Connector station that will connect the people mover with Metro’s Crenshaw-LAX line, providing a direct rail link to the airport for the first time.

The $2 billion automated people mover project is the centerpiece of the landside improvements around LAX to ease access to the airport. It consists of a 2.25-mile electric train system on an elevated guideway that will transport travelers in and out of the central terminal area, connecting them to new off-site parking facilities, the aforementioned regional light rail transportation network and a consolidated car rental facility.

The aim of the people mover project is to relieve congestion within the central terminal area and, in turn, the surrounding thoroughfares. The project is set for completion in 2023.

In 2018, LINXS, a consortium of seven prime contractor companies, won the $5 billion contract to build and operate the people mover project; the construction portion of the contract is expected to be around $2 billion.

The seven prime contractors that comprise LINXS are Fluor Corp. (Irving, Texas); Balfour Beatty (London); ACS Infrastructure Development Inc. (Coral Gables, Fla.); Dragados USA (New York); Hochtief PPP Solutions (Essen, Germany); Flatiron Construction Corp. (Broomfield, Colo.); and Bombardier Transportation (Montreal).
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 $40 billion in 2020 revenue.

Workers for these companies and dozens of subcontractor companies completed the four bridge trusses. According to the release from Los Angeles World Airports, specific engineering requirements and a mandate to adhere as much as possible to the mid-
century modern design motif meant that an unusual technique for constructing trusses known as the Vierendeel truss was used.

This type of truss uses only horizontal and vertical support elements, eliminating the need for diagonal support beams.

Over the course of four evenings, partially prefabricated steel trusses, ranging in weight from 60,000 to 100,000 pounds, were transported to the LAX terminal area and then assembled and lifted into place with a 350-ton crane.

Once all of the structural steel is in place, a suspended scaffolding system will be installed to facilitate construction of the bridge’s concrete floor and the installation of metal panels and glazing.

Composed of multiple sections, which can be raised and lowered as needed, the suspended scaffolding system eliminates the need for traditional scaffolding that would need to be staged in the roadway. This, in turn, will result in fewer lane closures on the terminal circulator road below.

“The start of construction of this pedestrian walkway follows a tremendous amount of enabling work, planning and coordination,” Sharon Gookin, project director at LINXS Constructors, said in the announcement. “Having these steel trusses in place serves as a meaningful milestone for the APM project and a testament to the continued efforts of the APM team to bring the vision of a transformed LAX to fruition.”

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