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Thursday, Nov 30, 2023

LAX Upgrade Snapshot

This article has been revised and corrected from the original version.

The nearly $15 billion first phase of the overhaul at Los Angeles International Airport – the largest such modernization program at an existing airport in the nation’s history – is now taking shape.

After five years of construction, the three key components of the landside access program that promises to completely transform the way people get to and use LAX are on course for completion late next year: a $2.6 billion automated people mover system, a $1.5 billion consolidated car rental facility and a $900 million station to connect the airport to the regional train network. Another component, a $300 million Economy Parking Facility, has been open for two years.

Simultaneously, four of the nine existing terminals either have been – or are in the process of being – completely renovated, at a combined cost of roughly $4 billion. And a major new $1.7 billion concourse has opened on the tarmac behind the Tom Bradley International Terminal, with a $400 million addition now under construction.

On the terminal front, Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines Inc., in conjunction with Los Angeles World Airports, wrapped up its $2.3 billion renovation of Terminals 2 and 3 this past summer. Fort Worth, Texas-based American Airlines Inc.’s $1.6 billion overhaul of Terminals 4 and 5 is in progress.

“It’s by far the most number of simultaneous projects going on at once at the airport,” said Beatrice Hsu, interim chief executive of Los Angeles World Airports, the city agency that runs LAX. “It’s also the largest public works program in the history of the city of Los Angeles.”

Most unusual is that almost all of this work has proceeded with almost no opposition – especially noteworthy given that three previous efforts to overhaul or expand LAX under the successive mayoral administrations of Richard Riordan, James Hahn and Antonio Villaraigosa were all shelved due to intense neighborhood opposition and lawsuits.

All of the first-phase projects are on track to open well in advance of two major international sporting events that will bring thousands of visiting athletes and dignatires from scores of nations: the FIFA World Cup in summer 2026 and the Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games in summer 2028.

Looking ahead, a $2.5 billion extension of Terminal 1 (now home to Dallas-based Southwest Airlines Inc.) and a new $4.5 billion Terminal 9 east of Sepulveda Boulevard, are now in the planning stages. These are part of the $15 billion second phase of the airport’s capital improvement program.

1. West Gates at Tom Bradley International Terminal (formerly Midfield Satellite Concourse North)

PROJECT DESCRIPTION: A 75,000-square-foot concourse on the tarmac connected by an underground passageway to the Tom Bradley International Terminal. Twelve of the 15 gates can accommodate widebody aircraft. As a concourse, no independent ticketing facilities; passengers do their ticketing at the Bradley Terminal.

PROJECT COST: $1.73 billion 

CONSTRUCTION START: 2017

CONSTRUCTION COMPLETED: May 2021 

CONTRACTOR TEAM:

DESIGN: Corgan (Dallas) and Gensler (San Francisco)

CONSTRUCTION: Turner (unit of Dallas-based
AECOM) and PCL Construction (Denver)

2. Delta SkyWay

Delta SkyWay (Photo by Ringo Chiu)

PROJECT DESCRIPTION: Joint investment and partnership between Delta Air Lines and Los Angeles World Airports to modernize Terminals 2 and 3 into a global hub for Delta, the largest airline by passenger volume at LAX. Project added roughly 800,000 square feet of space to the two existing terminals, including a terminal core to connect all levels to a nearby Automated People Mover station and new passageways connecting the two terminals and to the Tom Bradley International Terminal.

PROJECT COST: $2.3 billion

CONSTRUCTION START: 2018

CONSTRUCTION COMPLETED: Summer 2023

CONTRACTOR TEAM

DESIGN: Arup Group (London) and Gensler (San Francisco)

CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT: Hensel Phelps Construction (Greeley, Colorado)

3. LAX Economy Parking Facility

Economy Parking (Photo by Ringo Chiu)

PROJECT DESCRIPTION: Four-level, 1.7 million-square-foot parking structure with 4,300 parking spaces and smart-parking technology that allows advance booking. Parking structure will connect to the automated people mover; curbside pick-up and drop-off facilities will be immediately adjacent.

PROJECT COST: $294 million

CONSTRUCTION START: 2019

CONSTRUCTION COMPLETED: Fall 2021

CONTRACTOR TEAM:

DESIGN: Gensler (San Francisco) and Watry Design (San Jose)

CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTOR: Swinerton Inc. (Concord)

4. Airport Metro Connector

PROJECT DESCRIPTION: Multilevel rail station near 96th Street and Aviation Boulevard that will link the K (Crenshaw-LAX) rail line with the Automated People Mover, providing airport passengers with the first-ever direct link to the region’s rail system. Also will contain bus plaza. Project overseen by Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, or Metro.

COST: Roughly $900 million

CONSTRUCTION START: 2021

TARGETED COMPLETION DATE: Fall 2024

CONTRACTOR TEAM:

DESIGN: Grimshaw (London and New York)
and Gruen Associates (Mid-Wilshire)

CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTOR: Tutor Perini
Corp.
(Sylmar)

5. Consolidated Rent-A-Car Facility (ConRAC)

PROJECT DESCRIPTION: Consolidates operations of a dozen rental car brands now scattered in and around the LAX campus into a single 6.3 million-square-foot structure, the largest such facility in the nation and the second-largest cast concrete structure in the nation after the Pentagon. Also includes vehicle maintenance space. Will eliminate more than 3,000 daily rental car shuttle trips around the Central Terminal Area.

PROJECT COST: Roughly $1.46 billion

CONSTRUCTION START: 2019

CONSTRUCTION STATUS: Building shell complete; car rental companies completing their spaces; overall, 85% complete

TARGETED COMPLETION DATE: Second half 2024

CONTRACTOR TEAM: LAX ConRAC Partners (LAXCP)

DEVELOPERS: Fengate Capital Management (Toronto); PCL Investments USA (Astoria,
Oregon); and MVI Finance (Stockholm, Sweden)

DESIGN: PGAL, Inc. (Houston) and AC Martin
Partners
(downtown)

DESIGN-BUILD CONTRACTOR: PCL Construction
Services
(Denver)

6. Automated People Mover (APM)

PROJECT DESCRIPTION: Train running along 2-mile-long elevated guideway with three stations in Central Terminal Area and stops at Economy Parking Structure, Metro Rail connecting station and ending at Consolidated Rent-A-Car Facility. Train cars to run every two minutes during peak travel times.

PROJECT COST: Roughly $2.65 billion

CONSTRUCTION START: 2019

CONSTRUCTION STATUS: Elevated guideway construction almost entirely completed; overall project is 80% complete.

TARGETED COMPLETION DATE: Fall 2024

CONTRACTING TEAM: LAX Integrated Express Solutions (LINXS)

Fluor Enterprises (unit of Irving, Texas-based Fluor Corp.)

Balfour Beatty Investments (unit of London-based Balfour Beatty)

Hochtief PPP Solutions (unit of Essen, Germany-based Hochtief)

ACS Infrastructure Development (unit of Madrid, Spain-based ACS Group)

Bombardier Transportation Holdings USA (unit of Montreal-based Bombardier Inc.)

7. Midfield Satellite Concourse (MSC) South

PROJECT DESCRIPTION: Eight-gate, 150,000-square-foot extension of the West Gates concourse. Innovative construction technique underway: portions of concourse being assembled offsite and will be transported to the site to be fitted into place. Gates only for narrowbody (single-aisle) aircraft.

PROJECT COST: Roughly $405 million

CONSTRUCTION START: June 2023

CONSTRUCTION STATUS: About 15% complete.

TARGET COMPLETION DATE: 2025

CONTRACTOR TEAM:

DESIGN: Woods Bagot (Adelaide, Australia)

CONSTRUCTION: W.E. O’Neil Construction (Chicago)

Hannah Madans Welk
Hannah Madans Welk
Hannah Madans Welk is a managing editor at the Los Angeles Business Journal and the San Fernando Valley Business Journal. She previously covered real estate for the Los Angeles Business Journal. She has done work with publications including The Orange County Register, The Real Deal and doityourself.com.

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