LAX completes construction of automated people mover guideway structure

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As part of its multi-billion-dollar modernization program, Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in California has completed the construction of the guideway structure for its automated people mover (APM) train.

The APM is a 2.25-mile electric train system that will transport travelers in and out of the central terminal area (CTA), connecting them to new off-site parking facilities, regional light rail transportation and the consolidated rent-a-car facility. According to the airport, 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 APM will feature six stations – three stations inside the CTA that connect to the terminals via elevated pedestrian walkways, and three stations outside the CTA, which will connect to the new off-site parking facilities, regional light rail and a consolidated rent-a-car facility. The APM is expected to relieve congestion within the CTA and in turn the surrounding thoroughfares, thereby reducing emissions and vehicle miles traveled.

Construction began on the concrete elevated guideway structure in November 2019, when the first underground support columns were placed, followed by the first column pours in January 2020 and the first guideway segment pour in September 2020.

The last major pour for the guideway structure took place over Sepulveda Boulevard and was completed on April 1 after two-and-a-half months of construction. It was the last of three cast-in-place segmentally constructed bridges on the project. The other span, built over Parking Structure 2B in the CTA, was fully connected on March 19. Each of these three sections were constructed one short segment at a time with a traveling form system.

With the guideway structure now complete, work will continue on building the plinths that the train cars will ride on, as well as the construction of the emergency walkway on the guideway. The train stations, which are already under construction, will continue to progress with the last steel being placed for the center and west CTA stations in 2022. Additionally, the train maintenance and storage facility will be electrified this summer in preparation for the arrival of train cars.

Eric Garcetti, Mayor of Los Angeles, said, “The APM will be so much more than another way to get to LAX – it’s the piece of the puzzle that will end the congestion that has been plaguing our airport for decades. This project is a historic investment in our city’s transportation future, and today’s milestone brings us another step closer to our ultimate goal: bringing modern, reliable public transportation to our airport.”

Justin Erbacci, CEO of Los Angeles World Airports, said, “Los Angeles no longer has to imagine a transformed LAX, rather we can see the future through our own eyes with the completion of the 2.25 miles of APM guideway that will one day soon carry train cars filled with travelers and employees. Over the last two-and-a-half years, we have seen the guideway rise up from its foundation to become a fully completed track, providing us a glimpse at what will provide time-guaranteed access to the airport, ensuring greater mobility for all of those coming to and from LAX.”

Sam Choy, project director of the company constructing the APM, LINXS Constructors, said, “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. We’ll soon build off of this accomplishment with train car testing later this year.”

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