LOS ANGELES -- Officials unveiled a renovation plan for Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) Monday that will include two new airline gates able to handle superjumbo jets and two new concourses for the Tom Bradley International Terminal.
LAX was designed to handle 40 million passengers, but served nearly 68 million
at its peak in 2000 and handled about 62 million last year. Airports officials now say the
upgrades are needed to improve a long-neglected, dilapidated facility.
Old concourse areas will be demolished to accommodate the two new concourses, for a gain of about 1 million square feet of terminal space. More shopping and dining facilities are planned for the new areas.
Additionally, the airport's two security-screening areas will be consolidated into a single checkpoint.
In all, the project will cost an estimated $2-3 billion. To get its resident airlines to agree to the massive expenditures, LAX will have to keep construction costs down and act to mend worker relations that are strained due to protracted contract disputes.
Officials have said the architectural concept for the additions was inspired by the Pacific Ocean, with rooftops that resemble crashing waves. The arches of LAX's iconic Theme Building are also incorporated into the designs.
"Today marks a milestone in our effort to modernize the hub of Southern California's air transportation system and restore it to the premier international gateway the airlines need and the city of angels deserves," Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said.
He said the proposals, "embody the character of Los Angeles."
L.A. City Councilman Bill Rosendahl said this will be the largest public works project in Los Angeles, adding that it will create jobs and stimulate the local economy at a time of nationwidefinancial volatility.
The first set of new gates at the Bradley International Terminal are
expected to be completed by 2012. The entire "Bradley West" project
will take about seven years to complete and create 4,000 to 5,000 jobs
during that time, according to Los Angeles World Airports.
The renderings revealed Monday were created by Denver-based Fentress Architects. The company was awarded a $41.5 million, 3-year contract earlier this year.
Fentress also designed Denver International Airport, which is well-known for its roof adorned with white fiberglass peaks meant to mimic the nearby Rocky Mountains.
The Bradley terminal and second-level roadway were the last major changes made at LAX, completed just before the 1984 Summer Olympics were held in Los Angeles. Airport officials said at the time that the renovation was meant to be an interim fix, not a long-range improvement.
The city of Los Angeles has spent more than $250 million over the past 15 years developing airport modernization plans backed by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and two of his predecessors, Roger Johnson, a deputy executive director at LAX.
LAX to Get $2 Billion Facelift
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