The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority recently broke ground on the $898.6-million Airport Metro Connector project that will directly connect the Metro system to Los Angeles International Airport. The project will allow travelers to take a train into one of the nation’s busiest airports. 

“This is an exciting project that will serve as the ‘Gateway’ to LAX for future generations,” said Metro CEO Stephanie Wiggins in a news release. “The AMC [Airport Metro Connector] station will also provide multiple connections to the Metro system and will help airport-area employees and travelers easily get to wherever they need to go in our region.”

Scheduled to be complete in 2024, the connector project includes platforms to access Metro light rail trains, and a16-bay bus plaza that will serve Metro and other municipal bus operators.

The primary station contractor is in the process of being selected, says Metro. The early works contractor is Hensel Phelps Herzog. The architecture and engineering firm is Gruen/Grimshaw. The construction support service contract was awarded to an all-female owned consultant support services group led by KDG Construction consulting.

The project is located at Aviation and 96th Street on a site previously used as a Hertz rental car facility. It is designed to achieve a LEED Gold rating with sustainable features such as 550,000-plus kilowatts of solar panels, large native landscaping areas and electric bus charging stations. 

The connector station ties together infrastructure already under construction. It is the ninth station along the Crenshaw/LAX Line, which is currently under construction and will connect directly with the Los Angeles World Airports Automated People Mover

The people mover, slated to complete in 2023, is an electric train system on a 2.25-mile elevated guideway with six stations. It will connect directly with airport passenger terminals. The 8.5-mile-long Crenshaw/LAX Line, scheduled to complete later this year, will extend light rail service from Los Angeles through Inglewood, Calif., to El Segundo, Calif., near LAX. 

The rail station portion of the project will contain two light rail platforms accessed via escalators and elevators, new ADA compliant swing door fare gates to allow for smooth passage with luggage and a full roof covering over the entire platform.

“The AMC project is the first truly multi-modal transit station in California, featuring infrastructure for an Automated People Mover light rail, buses, active transportation and pedestrian amenities,” says Metro spokesperson Dave Sotero. 

Tim Lindholm, Metro senior executive officer, project management, expects the the connector construction by both Los Angeles World Airports and Metro, to be challenging, but says collaboration and communication with stakeholders and partners to help.