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Villaraigosa hails progress on LAX's Bradley renovation

January 24, 2012 |  5:38 pm

A view of the construction site of the new Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles city leaders on Tuesday heralded the progress that has been made renovating and expanding the Tom Bradley International Terminal—the centerpiece of the ongoing modernization of  Los Angeles International Airport.

With the news media in tow,  Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and senior airport officials toured the new steel shell of the Bradley complex and its cavernous interior, which is covered with a series of arching roof panels.

Designed to replace the Bradley’s existing concourses, the massive structure is almost half finished after more than 12 months of construction.

“We are making history here at LAX,” said Gina Marie Lindsey, executive director of Los Angeles World Airports. “This is the largest public works project in the city.”

Estimated to cost at least $1.5 billion, plans for the Bradley call for 18 gates, 1 million additional square feet of floor space, an expanded customs area and a terraced grand central hall filled with upscale restaurants, posh lounges and luxury boutiques.

The  modernization, which builds on the existing Bradley lobby and ticketing areas, is part of a $4-billion undertaking  that includes wider taxiways, apron work and a new central utility plant to supply heating and air conditioning to airport facilities. An estimated 39,000 jobs will be created, either directly or indirectly.

Airport officials plan to open the first gate for the largest wide-bodied jets, such as the giant Airbus A380, in September. The rest of the Bradley is scheduled to be ready for passengers by March 2013.

The mayor pointed out that the steel and glass design of the new terminal areas will let in natural sunlight and provide views of the San Gabriel and San Bernardino mountains. He also noted that the dining and retail options will reflect local culture and cuisine.

“We want L.A. to be in LAX,” said Villaraigosa, who later touted the free WiFi that would be available throughout the terminal.


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Photo: A view of the construction site of the new Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times