Returning to Los Angeles Airport on April 6, around 1:30 a.m., should have been an easy and fast trip to the freeway. Instead leaving the airport became an exercise in gridlock and futility.
Roadways were blocked, and it took a car about an hour and a half to go from Terminal One to Terminal Six on the lower level. Traffic had been funneled into one lane and there were no signs to alert drivers, who were picking up passengers, about the traffic snarl.
Today, an LAX Public Relations press release stated that the construction of the 2.235- mile elevated concrete structure, which started in 2019, had poured the final concrete for the Automated People Mover (APM).
The APM is the centerpiece of LAX’s Landside Access Modernization Program. The APM is an electric train system that will transport travelers in and out of the Central Terminal Area, connecting them to new off-site parking facilities, regional light rail transportation and the Consolidated Rent-A-Car facility. “The APM project is a critical investment into the infrastructure of Los Angeles as the city prepares to welcome the world to the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games,” the release noted.
“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.”
With the guideway structure now complete, work will continue on building the plinths, which is what the train cars ride on, as well as construction of the emergency walkway on the guideway.
Train stations are already under construction and the last steel will be placed for the Center and West CTA stations in the coming months. The train Maintenance and Storage Facility will be electrified this summer in preparation for the arrival of train cars.
LAX is the fifth-busiest airport in the world in 2021 with 48 million passengers. This construction is a $15-billion capital improvement program that will touch on all nine passenger terminals and build new facilities, including the APM, Consolidated Rent-A-Car facility and the West Gates at Tom Bradley International Terminal.
To see the current construction traffic impacts before visiting LAX, go to: https://www.lawa.org/transforminglax/advisories/airport-construction-map?zoom=16