As Construction Is Set for Four Years
Anyone driving to the Los Angeles Airport this summer has most likely encountered huge delays in either dropping passengers off or picking them up.
When traffic is heaviest it can take 45 minutes to go from the airport entrance by Terminal 1 (Southwest) to reach Terminal 4 (American).
Many Pacific Palisades residents may feel that summer and vacations are the reason for gridlock.
No. Instead it is ongoing construction. Already lanes have been closed, utility relocation is underway, and there will be periodic lane closures on Century Boulevard, 96 and 98th Street, Airport Boulevard and Aviation Boulevard. There will be demolitions of several structures in the LAX area and there will be parking-structure re-configurations.
Stephanie Sampson, director of communications for the LAX Landside Access Modernization Program (LAMP), and Anna Kozma, a senior community liaison for LINXS (APM-Automated People Mover) developer, spoke to the Pacific Palisades Community Council on July 25 to let residents know the problems they will face in accessing the airport over the next four years.
Sampson admitted that traffic is “going to be rough” and that things are not likely to improve for a few years, but the project is sorely needed.
The $5.5-billion program is supposed to ultimately ease traffic congestion and provide a connection to the regional transportation system (Metro), making the airport more user friendly for the 2028 Olympics. (Visit: https://www.lawa.org/en/connectinglax)
The first step is the construction of the Automated People Mover, an electric train that will basically go down the center of the airport. Groundbreaking was held in March.
“Everyone traveling to or from LAX should have access to modern, reliable public transportation that gets them to their destination on time,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti at the groundbreaking. “The Automated People Mover is a historic investment in our city’s transportation infrastructure — a milestone that will create middle-class jobs, reduce traffic congestion, and deliver a world-class experience for travelers.”
The train, which holds 200 people and their luggage, will run every two minutes on an elevated track that stretches 2.25 miles. Operating 24/7, 365 days a year, it will be free to ride.
The train will be entered/exited at six locations, three of which are at the airport: between terminals 1 and 7, between terminals 2 and 5 and between terminals 3, 4 and the Tom Bradley Terminal.
There will be three stops outside the airport (all of which have to be constructed): at the short-term parking structure, at the Metro connector station and at the rental car facility.
The short-term parking building will have 4,500 spaces and will be located between Westchester Parkway and 96th Street. Groundbreaking was held July 11, with the opening slated for 2021. Once completed, shuttles will transport people to and from the airport until the train is online in 2023.
The Metro connector station will open in 2023 and connect the light-rail Crenshaw/LAX & Green Lines to the airport.
A new consolidated rent-a-car facility, with 17,000 parking stalls, will be constructed in an area bordered by Aviation Blvd. on the west, Arbor Vitae St. to the north, La Cienega Blvd. on the east and the new 98th St. extension to the south and will open in 2023. Located next to the 405 Freeway, the 5.3-million-sq.-ft. structure will also serve as the terminus/beginning of the train.
The LAX Construction hotline is (310) 649-5292.