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Why your next trip to LAX may take even longer than usual

Why your next trip to LAX may take even longer than usual
Work is expected to begin Tuesday night on Los Angeles International Airport's upper-level road. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

Beginning Tuesday night, travelers should add extra time for their trip to or from Los Angeles International Airport because of new road work.

Repairs to LAX's upper, or departure, level road are expected to cause delays for all traffic heading in or out of the airport. There's no good way around the problem. Shuttles, FlyAway buses and taxis will have to navigate the same crush of cars that may be delayed by the work.

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About 38,000 vehicles a day use the road to drop off airline passengers. Thankfully, the work is scheduled to take place between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. Mondays through Thursdays, and 11 p.m. and 1 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. The work was expected to begin Monday night but was postponed because of expected rain.

There's no predicting how much extra time you should allow for delays.

The upper level road, which is more than three decades old, isn't completely shutting down. But, as LAX put it in a recent statement, "vehicle lanes will be periodically restricted and travelers could experience delays entering and exiting the airport, as well as when dropping off passengers in the late evenings and early mornings because of the work."

And you can expect the paving to stink a little too; odors will be monitored to make sure they don't exceed allowed exposure levels.

To completely avoid the road work area, departing passengers can be dropped off at the lower level and take an elevator or escalator to the departures level.

But, of course, everyone may be trying that workaround, which will lead to more traffic on the lower level too.

The work is part of a $32-million upper-level road repair project for the airport's central terminal area and is scheduled to be completed around Thanksgiving.

For updates on traffic, follow @LAAirportPD on Twitter.

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