Century Crunch: Bridge at LAX to be demolished

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In this May 5, 2014 photo, construction crews work on improvements at Los Angeles International Airport, LAX. (AP Photo/Nick Ut )

In this May 5, 2014 photo, construction crews work on improvements at Los Angeles International Airport, LAX. (AP Photo/Nick Ut )

LOS ANGELES (CNS) – People expecting to travel to Los Angeles International Airport the last weekend of July may want to plan ahead, with local transportation officials warning today that a bridge-demolition project will close a portion of Century Boulevard for 57 hours.

A Metro contractor will begin demolishing a defunct railroad bridge at Century and Aviation boulevards at 9 p.m. July 25, clearing the site for a Crenshaw/LAX light rail line station. Century Boulevard will remain blocked until 6 a.m. July 28.

Metro officials said an estimated 92,800 motorists travel through the Century/Aviation intersection on a daily basis. They have dubbed the demolition project “Century Crunch,” urging motorists to plan ahead and avoid the area if at all possible.

The Crenshaw/LAX line will connect the Metro Green and Expo lines, with an anticipated opening in 2019.

“Angelenos, we’ve been through this before, and we’re asking for your patience as we tear down an old bridge to make way for a state-of-the-art light rail system,” said County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, a member of the Metro Board of Directors. “So we’re asking you to re-route your drive for two days at the end of July. In return, we’re going to build you a system that will ultimately connect our urban center to LAX and the South Bay.”

With Century Boulevard blocked, motorists heading toward LAX that weekend will be diverted north on La Cienega Boulevard, west on Manchester Avenue, then south on Airport Boulevard, back to Century. Motorists leaving LAX will take the same detour in reverse.

Lanes will also be reduced on Aviation Boulevard during the demolition.

Metro officials also noted that once the bridge is demolished, Century Boulevard will remain reduced by one lane in each direction for the next 16 months, leaving three lanes each way.

The 8.5-mile, $2.058 billion Crenshaw/LAX line will run from the Metro Expo line at Exposition and Crenshaw boulevards and connect with the Green line near the airport.

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