Best Airport/Transit Project & Safety Award of Merit: Tom Bradley International Terminal

Photo Courtesy of Walsh Austin
The Tom Bradley International Terminal won in the Airport/Transit category as well as an award of merit for Excellence in Safety.
Photo by Brian Williams

As the central component of LAX's Capital Improvements Program—the largest public works project in Los Angeles history—the 1.2-million-sq-ft Tom Bradley International Terminal replaces its obsolete 30-year-old predecessor structure. The project adds 15 contact gates—nine for double-decker aircraft such as the Airbus 360—passenger boarding bridges, two concourses and apron work.

Renovation work included the Customs and Border Protection and baggage handling services, departures-level passenger amenities and secure/sterile passenger inter-terminal corridors.

The terminal's design celebrates area culture and geography. The Pacific Ocean's undulating waves inspired the flowing roofline, while the soaring roof above the central 150,000-sq-ft Great Hall mirrors the Santa Monica Mountains in the distance. Light fills the terminal from the glass curtain wall and clerestory windows, while an aluminum roof deflects glare and heat.

Utilizing construction management at-risk delivery on the $1.3-billion project enabled work to proceed briskly. On average, each day marked eight design changes. Joe Thompson, Walsh Austin's project principal, says the immense project's accelerated 34-month schedule and location within the third-busiest airport in the U.S. were major hurdles that the project team had to overcome.

Intense collaboration and BIM coordination were required to build and renovate around the existing terminal, keeping it operational and safe. Temporary structures were phased in; for example, the North Concourse's three phases required three design layouts for temporary structures such as walls, stairs and corridors.

Worker transportation was tightly scheduled, as was movement of crawler, tower and other cranes within the tight building envelope. An extensive training and mentoring program of 1,200 laborers resulted in more than 1.35-million man-hours with no accidents.

Jimmy Cole, Walsh Austin senior project manager, says constructing at the busy airport "was like working on your car while it was driving 60 mph down the freeway."

Key Players

Contractor Walsh Austin Joint Venture, Los Angeles

Owner Los Angeles World Airports, Los Angeles

Lead Design Fentress Architects, Los Angeles

Structural Engineer John A. Martin & Associates, Los Angeles

Civil Engineer TMAD Taylor & Gaines Inc., Pasadena

MEP Engineer Syska Hennessy Group, Los Angeles

Subcontractors Environmental Interiors, Nashua, N.H.; The Herrick Co., Stockton; Walters & Wolf, La Verne; Crown Corr, Los Angeles; Klorman Construction, Woodland Hills; Griffith Co., Santa Fe Springs; ACCO, Glendale; SASCO, Fullerton; ISEC, Cypress; Dynalectric, Los Alamitos