Century Crunch: LAX-bound drivers brace for weekend road closure

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If you’re heading to Los Angeles International Airport this weekend, transit officials hope you already know about the “Century Crunch.” 

The stretch of Century Boulevard near LAX is scheduled to be closed starting at 9 p.m. Friday so work crews can spend the weekend demolishing an old railroad bridge at Century and Aviation.  You can view a livestream of the work here.

The bridge is being removed to make way for a new light rail station on the future Crenshaw/LAX line.

"That has a critical path to be finished by 2019, and any delays on this construction activity would risk the overall construction schedule for that project," says J.C. Lacey, the construction manager for L.A. Metro.

Lacey says a third of the cars driving in and out of LAX use Century, and he acknowledges the timing isn’t perfect.

"It’s a heavy travel season. It’s the summer. There are vacations that have been planned. There are conventions…" he says.

The Global Business Travel Association’s Convention starts Saturday at the L.A. Convention Center and expects 7,000 attendees from around the world.  The association has devoted a page on its web site to the closure, telling attendees to plan ahead.  

LA Metro spokesman Marc Littman hopes the inconvenience will show them one thing: "There’s progress... For long people have complained that they can’t take public transit that easily to LAX."

This weekend’s demolition, Littman says, is part of a plan to change that.

The new 8.5-mile line will connect the existing Expo Line at Crenshaw and Exposition Boulevards to the Metro Green Line and will serve L.A., Inglewood and El Segundo.

The closure is scheduled to last until 6 a.m. Monday.

Metro has released the following map showing detours and the future route of the Crenshaw/LAX line. If you're going to be in the area at all this weekend, check the map and give yourself extra time for traffic.

This story has been updated.

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