People expecting to travel to Los Angeles International Airport the last weekend of July may want to plan ahead. Local transportation officials warned today that a portion of Century Boulevard will be closed for 57 hours due to a bridge-demolition project.
A Metro contractor will begin demolishing a defunct railroad bridge at Century and Aviation boulevards at 9 p.m. on July 25, clearing the site for a Crenshaw/LAX light rail line station. Century Boulevard will remain blocked until 6 a.m. on 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.
"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, in a press release. “We’re asking you to reroute your drive for two days at the end of July. In return we’re going to build you a system that ultimately will 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. 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.
“World class cities have world class airports, and world class cities have world class transit. And we all know Los Angeles is the greatest city on earth,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “So we are going to take down this bridge and we’re planning ahead to make sure that disruption is minimized just like we did with the Carmageddon that never materialized.”
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, with an anticipated opening in 2019.
Visit the Metro’s website for recommended detours and updates on the project.