Runway status light project, a $7-million upgrade of runway lights.

Next-Generation Aircraft

The most noteworthy of the new projects is the Bradley West terminal. The project is designed to accommodate the new generation of aircraft, including the Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 Dreamliner. It consists of 18 new gates, dual passenger-loading bridges to handle the A380's 525 to 853 passengers (depending on class configurations) and a 140,000-sq-ft Great Hall dining/retail/shopping area.

Curtis Fentress says his firm's design was inspired by the Pacific Ocean and has rooftops that flow as "rhythmic waves" breaking on the shoreline. The wave forms also have a practical side. Fentress says they are designed intentionally to provide protection from the sun's glare on the building's southwest side while allowing lots of natural light on its northeast side.

Roger Johnson, LAWA executive director for airports development, says the Bradley West project is currently about two months behind schedule, but adds that everything else is "tracking fine." Johnson says a gate-opening originally slated for December will take place in mid-February.

The next project in line for a groundbreaking is the $150-million midfield satellite concourse, which will be connected to the international terminal by a tunnel. Johnson says that project is due to begin in April.

To manage the large portfolio of projects, LAWA has enlisted a variety of contract types, based on a city charter ordinance. Johnson says two-thirds of the projects, totaling $2 billion, use alternative delivery systems. The Bradley West expansion, for example, is a construction-management-at-risk job and the central utility plant is design-build.

Johnson adds, "We select the delivery system based on the project's schedule, risk, best-value selection criteria and contract qualifications."

Though the airport project is being operated with a project labor agreement, under which the majority of the workers are hired at union halls, many workers come from the surrounding communities.

The airport is using the city's First Source Hiring process. LAWA and the LAX Coalition for Economic, Environmental and Educational Justice, which includes school districts, community organizations and labor unions, negotiated a community benefits agreement (CBA) to ensure that local communities will share in the process.