Final bids due for LAX light rail project

The three shortlisted consortiums should deliver their final proposals this November.

Los Angeles World Airports has issued a final request for proposals to three shortlisted teams to develop a light rail connecting parts of Los Angeles International Airport as part of its $5.5 billion modernisation programme.

LAWA, the project’s procuring authority, is seeking proposals from developers interested in building an automated people-mover train connecting the central terminal to the city’s light-rail system, a rental car facility and parking structures, according to a statement. The RFP is expected to be published by the end of July.

Project proposals are due in November 2017 and a contract should be awarded by early 2018, according to LAWA.

The parking and rental car facility are also part of LAWA’s Landside Access Modernisation Programme, which is planned to relieve traffic congestion, increase passengers from around 75 million to 79 million annually and provide for easier transit connection. The programme is being procured through a public-private partnership.

Three consortiums have expressed interest in bidding on the project: Gateway Connectors (Kiewit, Meridiam and Skanska); LAX Connecting Alliance (OHL Infrastructure, Acciona Concesiones, Star America Fund, Aberdeen Global Infrastructure, Axium Infrastructure and Charles Pankow Builders); and LINXS (Fluor Enterprises, Balfour Beatty, Hochtief and ACS Infrastructure Development).

Airport upgrades are increasingly being procured using PPPs as state and local goverments seek help to fund what can be expensive and complicated projects. Some of the US’s largest airports have ongoing PPP projects, such as the $4 billion LaGuardia Airport development. Last week, four teams of developers expressed interest in building and financing a $1 billion terminal at Kansas City International Airport.

Glenn Youngkin, president of The Carlyle Group,a $162 billion investment firm, commented last week that airports are a “top prospect for investing in infrastructure over the near term”.