The remodeling of Los Angeles International Airport took a major step Thursday when officials approved the construction contract for a $1.25-billion midfield concourse that will add 11 passenger gates to accommodate growing air travel.
City airport commissioners also initiated preliminary planning and the environmental review for about $4 billion in projects included in the ground transportation plan for LAX.
Among the proposals are a consolidated car rental facility in nearby Manchester Square and an automated people mover that will connect to passenger terminals, the planned rental car center and the station for Metro's Crenshaw light-rail line, which is under construction.
The concourse building will stand between the north and south runways about 1,300 feet west of the Tom Bradley International Terminal. The project is only exceeded in scale by the ongoing $2.1-billion expansion of the Bradley, the centerpiece of LAX's modernization effort.
Airport commissioners awarded a $961.3-million design and construction contract to Turner/PCL, a joint venture that airport officials say offered the most competitive bid for the northern half of the satellite concourse. The southern portion will be handled later as a separate project.
"The 11 gates will be full as they are made available for operation," said Gina Marie Lindsey, executive director of Los Angeles World Airports, the operator of LAX. "Our expectation is that growth will take us there very quickly."
LAX is on track to handle more than 71 million passengers this year and exceed the previous peak of about 68 million in 2000.
The north concourse, scheduled to be completed in 2020, will include a tunnel for passengers to reach the Bradley, where an annex will be added.
In addition, Los Angeles World Airports will have the option of adding a baggage handling system and an extension with two gates on the north side of the concourse.