International joint venture tops out at LA airport APM project

The topping-out ceremony followed months of enabling work
The topping-out ceremony followed months of enabling work

The APM is designed to revolutionise how people get to and from LAX, the world’s fifth-busiest airport. This week’s topping-out saw a steel beam, the last of nearly 2,000 tonnes of structural steel, lifted into position at West Central Terminal Area station, the largest of the six stations on the line.

Following months of enabling work, LINXS Constructors began foundation placement at the West CTA station site in February 2022. A total of 127 piles were installed to support the station, as well as smaller piles to support the nearby pedestrian bridges.

Once complete, the 1.2 million square-foot station will connect the train system to Terminals 3, 4 and 5, in addition to Tom Bradley International Terminal, via elevated pedestrian bridges.

Brian Cahill, president of Balfour Beatty in California, said: “Topping out the final station at the West Central Terminal Area signifies our team’s progress in providing a revolutionary travel experience for worldwide passengers at LAX airport. We look forward to their continued work in completing construction on all stations to begin testing the train system’s driverless vehicles to prepare for public use.”

Justin Erbacci, Los Angeles World Airports’ CEO, said: “The vision of a fully connected LAX is coming to fruition, and with the last placement of station steel today, we continue to see the transformation unfold behind the skilled hands of so many local workers who are building our future.

“This station will be a jewel of the system with visually pleasing digital elements and architecture that will welcome tens of millions of travellers each year.”

Work on the station façades, internal systems and vertical cores is scheduled to continue this year. In addition, the placement of the project’s final pedestrian bridge, connecting the West CTA station to Tom Bradley International Terminal, is scheduled for placement this autumn. In total, the structural steel used on the stations, bridges and vertical cores weighs in at more than 9,000 tonnes.

LINXS Constructors continues work on four other APM stations:

  • At the Centre CTA station, roofing operations continue following the topping out of structural steel in late May 2022. Structural steel is also being installed to connect the station to pedestrian bridge structures and vertical cores at Terminals 2 and between 5 and 6.
  • At the East CTA station, glass walls have been installed on the station platform as exterior work progresses. Structural steel is also being placed for a pedestrian bridge that will connect the station to Terminals 7 and 8.
  • At the Economy Parking station, work continues on pedestrian bridge finishes and wall and ceiling exterior panels. As the station nears completion, the team is preparing the location for electrification later this fall.
  • At the Intermodal Transportation Facility-East station, which will connect to the future Airport Metro Connector station, fireproofing, escalators and entry-level glass work have been completed. Exterior wall panel installation also continues to progress.

The centrepiece of LAX’s landside access modernisation programme, the $5.5 billion (£4.7 billion), design-build, public-private partnership AMP project is a 2.25-mile electric train system that will transport travellers in and out of the CTA, connecting them to new off-site parking facilities, regional light rail transportation and car rental facility.

The APM project started construction in January 2018 and is a critical investment into the infrastructure of Los Angeles as the city prepares to host the 2028 Olympic Games. The APM is expected to relieve congestion within the CTA and in turn the surrounding thoroughfares, thereby reducing emissions and vehicle miles travelled. 

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