LAX Begins Central Terminal Area Transformation with Removal of Terminal 6 Pedestrian Bridge

05/08/2019 02:50 PM

May 8, 2019

Charles H. Pannunzio
(424) 646-5260

(Los Angeles, CA) The removal of a pedestrian bridge connecting Terminal 6 to Parking Structure 6 at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) this month marks the beginning of significant construction within the central terminal area traffic loop and kicks off a new phase of Los Angeles World Airports’ (LAWA) multibillion-dollar transformation of the airport.

The phased demolition of the bridge, which will require lane closures, will take place from May 12 through May 17, with the final removal of the structure scheduled for overnight hours in order to reduce the impact to traffic. The bridge must be demolished so construction can begin on a new terminal core, which will contain the elevators and escalators needed to reach the walkway to an Automated People Mover (APM) station to be located near the iconic Theme Building. 

“The overnight removal of a main pedestrian bridge is a milestone in our LAX transformation that takes us one step closer to realizing the vision of a world-class airport in Los Angeles,” said Deborah Flint, CEO, Los Angeles World Airports. “Engineering a demolition of this magnitude while still keeping the airport open for business demonstrates our team’s commitment to innovative construction approaches that maintain the highest levels of safety and minimize the impact on our guests.”


The early demolition work of the bridge, which began last month, has involved stripping the bridge of glass, flooring and other materials to reduce the weight of the bridge. Nightly closures of up to two lanes on each level have been taking place.

Starting Sunday, May 12, the work will increase in intensity, with shoring towers installed to support the bridge and the arrival of a crane requiring additional lanes to be closed overnight.

The actual removal of the bridge structure will occur overnight, from 2 to 3:30 a.m. on Thursday, May 16, and Friday, May 17, and necessitates full closures of the upper and lower levels to ensure the safety of airport guests. Traffic control associated with the full closure will begin as early as 12:30 a.m. During the full closures, vehicles on the Upper/Departures Level will be detoured through Parking Structure 4 to the Lower/Arrivals Level. All vehicles will then use Center Way to exit the airport. Vehicles taller than 7 feet that cannot go through the parking structure will be unable to exit the Upper/Departures Level during the expected 90-minute closure.

“While we always work to minimize the impacts of construction on our guests and their ability to navigate the airport, to safely remove a bridge, a full closure of our roadway is required,” said Keith Wilschetz, Deputy Executive Director, Operations and Emergency Management. “The 90-minute, early morning closures have been scheduled during a time when we have the fewest people at the airport, but we are asking anyone planning to be at the airport the mornings of the demolition to please plan ahead.”

Additional traffic officers will be on hand to assist motorists, and changable message signs will provide updates. Pedestrian detours will also be posted.

In addition to the full closures on May 16 and 17, the following closures will be in effect beginning Monday, May 13:

  • All outer lanes on the Lower/Arrivals Level at Terminals 5 and 6 will be closed from 11:30 p.m.-7 a.m. each night through Sunday, May 19, with vehicles detoured to the inner lanes, where the clearance is 13-feet, 6-inches. Two through lanes will remain open on the Upper/Departures Level, except during the full closures. 
  • The left-most lane on the Upper/Departures Level and the two right outer lanes on the Lower/Arrivals Level will be closed continuously from 11:30 p.m. Monday, May 13, through 7 a.m. Sunday, May 19, for shoring of the bridge and placement of the crane. During this time, the Lower/Arrivals Level shuttle stops in front of Terminal 6 will be closed, with guests directed to the nearest open stops.

Less impactful overnight lane closures are also scheduled for the removal of the existing bridge supports adjacent to the parking structure from May 20-22, once the bridge sections have been removed.

Guests and employees can stay informed on the 
ongoing construction activity by following LAX on social media or visiting the airport online at


The bridge to Parking Structure 6 is among eight crossings built to connect the terminals to the parking structures, most of which were built in the 1980s as part of the “New LAX” projects ahead of the 1984 Olympic Games. The work also added the second-level roadway and buildings to connect the ticketing buildings to the satellites above ground.


In October 2012, as part of the project to install new art deco light poles to bring lighting program of the iconic LAX Gateway pylons into the Central Terminal Area, the bridge from Parking Structure 4 to the Tom Bradley International Terminal was demolished. Bridges at Terminals 2, 3, and 4 will be removed at a later date.

Media opportunities will available for press before, during and after the demolition, and a timelapse video will be released after the construction project is completed. Contact [email protected] for more information.

Early demolition work has involved removing weight, such as stairs and flooring, from the structure.

About Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) 

LAX, the fourth-busiest airport in the world and second busiest in the United States, was named a top-10 U.S. airport by SKYTRAX. LAX served more than 87.5 million passengers in 2018 and offers an average of 700 daily nonstop flights to 109 cities in the U.S. and 1,281 weekly nonstop flights to 93 markets in 47 countries on 69 commercial airlines. LAX ranks 10th in the world in air cargo tonnage processed, with more than 2.4 million tons of air cargo. LAX handled 707,883 operations (landings and takeoffs) in 2018.  

LAX generated 620,600 jobs in Southern California, with labor income of $37.3 billion and economic output (business revenues) of more than $126.6 billion, according to an economic study based on 2014 operations. This activity added $6.2 billion to local and state revenues and $8.7 billion in federal tax revenues. The study also reported that LAX’s ongoing capital improvement program creates an additional 121,640 annual jobs with labor income of $7.6 billion and economic output of $20.3 billion; $966 million in state and local taxes; and $1.6 billion in federal tax revenues.


LAX was honored as having the “Best Overall Customer Service Program” by Airports Council International-North America; named the “Best Airport for Breastfeeding Moms” by Mamava; selected for the Top 10 “Best of the U.S.’s Big Airports” (Wall Street Journal) and “Most Pet-Friendly Airports in the U.S. (Mental Floss); named the second-most improved airport in the U.S. by JD Power; received an “Innovation Award” from the L.A. Better Business Challenge for its Central Utility Plant; and named  a “Business Leader in Air Quality” by the South Coast Air Quality Management District.

LAX is also the second-most popular airport in the world to appear on Instagram, according to LAX is part of a system of two Southern California airports – along with Van Nuys general aviation – that are owned and operated by Los Angeles World Airports, a proprietary department of the City of Los Angeles that receives no funding from the City’s general fund.   

For more information about LAX, please visit or follow on Twitter   @flyLAXAirport, on Facebook at, and on YouTube at  

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