The first columns are installed for the new automated people mover system at Los Angeles Airport.

It’s the start of construction for the automated people mover project at LAX. The first columns erected are situated inside the airport’s Central Terminal Area (CTA) and will support the future East CTA Station.

Justin Erbacci, Interim Chief Executive Officer, Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), said:

With the first columns rising above the Central Terminal Area, we can see a reimagined LAX taking shape. Now that we have gone vertical with our construction, we can experience that our transformation is underway, and we are excited to see the progress each and every day.

The East CTA Station will be around 68 ft above grade and span Center Way. It will connect to Terminal 7 and Parking Structure 1 via raised pedestrian bridges.  A viewing area at the station’s west end will give passengers views of the Theme Building, a striking example of futurist Googie architecture that originated in the city. East CTA Station will be one of three inside the Central Terminal Area. From there it will be just a quick ride to the new Intermodal Transportation Facilities and the Consolidated Rent-A-Car (ConRAC) Facility.

Central Terminal Area – East
Central Terminal Area – East

LAX Integrated Express Solutions (LINXS), the developer of the APM project, started work on the foundations in October 2019 by constructing cast-in-drilled hole (CIDH) piles. Once the piles were in situ, the column construction got underway. A crane has to lift the steel reinforcement cage into place, after which concrete is piped in to bring the construction to grade. Then formwork is put up around the reinforcement cage in readiness for the column’s concrete placement. Once the concrete has cured, the formwork can be taken down, leaving just the column behind.

Sharon Gookin, Project Director, LINXS, said:

For a project of this scale and magnitude, there is a tremendous amount of work that must be done before vertical construction starts. The completion of the first station columns is an exciting milestone for everyone working on the project.

After columns are completed, the construction crew puts up falsework – temporary structures to support permanent structures until their construction has progressed enough to support themselves. These supports are made out of reusable and recyclable steel and timber and in this case can support up to 250,000 pounds. The APM falsework will support the formwork for the guideway as the concrete cures and achieves the necessary strength.

Columns for APM at LAX
Columns for APM system being built at LAX

The LAX Automated People Mover

The automated people mover system at Los Angeles Airport will be a 2.25 mile elevated electric train taking passengers to and from the Central Terminal Area. It is at the heart of LAWA’s LAMP project. There will be six stations in total. Three of them will be inside the CTA. These will connect to the terminals via elevated pedestrian walkways. Three further stations will be located outside of the CTA. These will connect to new off-site parking facilities, regional light rail and a Consolidated Rent-A-Car (ConRAC) Facility. It should open to passengers in 2023, at which point it will relieve congestion within the Central Terminal Area and the surrounding thoroughfares. This will in turn reduce emissions and vehicle miles travelled.


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