As part of one of the largest public works projects in California history, the new Intermodal Transportation Facility-West (ITF-West) will play a key role in LAX’s $5.5 billion Landside Access Modernization Program (LAMP). When it opens in 2021, ITF-West will offer short and long-term parking options and direct connection to the Automated People Mover (APM) system.
“The ITF-West will be the first component completed of the LAMP, providing a much-needed option for pick-up/drop-off outside the Central Terminal Area [CTA] during the height of construction,” said Stephanie Sampson, director of communications of LAMP. “It’s more than just a parking structure, because it offers intermodal options. LAX is future-proofing the facility, which allows it to adjust to changes in transportation in the future.”
The facility is a four-structure complex with approximately 4,500 parking stalls. LAWA intends to fund the ITF-West design-build contract with airport cash/revenues. No city, state or federal tax revenues are expected to be used to support the $219 million project.
Construction began in August 2019. The majority of work takes place behind barriers, which limits public access to any work. As on any job site, the safety of all workers in the field is a top concern.
“Both the developer and LAWA have safety managers ensuring proper protocols are followed. Safety on public streets when trucks are hauling away debris or making deliveries is also a priority. The contractor provides flaggers to assist drivers and pedestrians to ensure safe exit and entry into the job site.”
Swinerton Builders serves as the general contractor for the project, with work taking place Monday-Friday from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Since the majority of this project is behind barricades, the potential to work during off-peak hours could occur in the future.
“During the peak period of construction, an estimated 250 workers will be on site at one time, and total construction jobs during the project could be in excess of 450,” said Sampson. “Swinerton also has a 30 percent local hire commitment, and expects to use dozens of apprentices throughout the course of the project.”
The undertaking is the result of years of detailed planning. The LAMP project has been in the making since the early 2000s. Once the final environmental impact report was released, LAWA moved forward putting plans into reality. The Request for Proposals [RFP] was released in July 2017. The LAWA Board of Airport Commissioners awarded the design-build contract to Swinerton Builders in July 2018.
“This is an amazing and exciting project,” said Swinerton superintendent Jeff Moye. “The ITF-West will take two years to complete, and the scope of the project will be challenging. It will require synchronizing and harmonizing the work of a myriad of subcontractors to a precise schedule, in order to keep the project progressing and on budget, while coordinating with multiple adjacent contractors and projects all part of the overall LAMP development. Our primary goal will be providing peace of mind and minimizing the impacts of construction to the traveling public at the nation’s second busiest airport.”
Currently, crews are focused on earthwork and soil hauling, LID and dry wells construction and certification of building pads. Foundation work was expected to commence in November. Tasks already completed include site demolition west of Jenny Avenue and Building Pad A certification. Remaining work includes Building Pad B certification, site demolition and concrete pouring.
Moye said building new roadways requires a great deal of coordination.
“One of the first things you have to do is grade the area, so you have everything leveled out. You have to install utilities, including electrical duct banks, storm drains, reclaimed water lines and sewer lines. On top of that, landscape projects usually coincide with roadway construction. The civil portion requires installation of sidewalks, curbs, ramps and asphalt paving, followed by signage and striping. Traffic signal installation involves coordination with the Department of Transportation or other entities having jurisdictional authority of that area.”
Over the next two months, workers will excavate 70,000 cubic yards of dirt, which if stacked, would equal the height of nearly 200 skyscrapers.
“We will be using many different types of heavy earthmoving equipment, which will require the expertise of our seasoned operators and laborers to accomplish this highly orchestrated task,” said Moye. “Of course, during all of this, we will also need to minimize impact to air quality and ensure dust migration, so we will also need to ensure streets are routinely cleaned as we haul away this significant sum of dirt. Additionally, excavating and exporting soils on a project this substantial will also mean that we will need to minimize disruption to traffic around one of the busiest airports in the world.”
Moye noted that the Security & Badging Office will be constructed within the footprint of the parking structure, although details can’t be released for security reasons. Building the concession spaces and APM bridge connections, meanwhile, requires significant teamwork.
“On a project this size and complex, communication with our fellow LAMP partners, including The City of Los Angeles inspection teams, LADWP and key stakeholders, is crucial. Nothing is done without comprehensive planning and preparation for our city’s and LAWA’s combined success.”
Said Sampson, “It’s incredibly rewarding to see the transformation of LAX under way. The modernization program has been in the works for many years, and to see it finally start to take shape is exciting for not only LAX, but the nearly 90 million people who travel to and from the airport.” CEG