Officials broke ground on the new expansion project for the Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX.
The poject has been billed as the largest public works project in the history of Los Angeles -- expected to create 4,000 construction-related jobs and costing $1.2 billion.
The so-called Bradley West Project is just one component of the LAX Master Plan. It includes the construction of nine new boarding gates on the Bradley Terminals' west side to supplement existing gates on the east side.
Each gate will be capable of handling passengers arriving and departing on giant new airliners, such as the Airbus A380 and the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The plan also calls for demolishing the Bradley Terminal's old concourse area and building a pair of new concourses with larger passenger lounges.
About 1.25 million square feet will be added for shops, restaurants, ticketing desks, security screening and baggage claim.
Additionally, the federal customs inspection area will be expanded, and a pair of corridors will be built to link Terminals 3, 4, and the Bradley terminal so passengers with connecting flights do not have to exit the terminals and go through security screening again.
The new boarding gates are slated for completion by 2012, but the rest of the upgrades are not expected to be finished until spring 2013.
Of the 4,000 construction-related jobs that will be created, nearly 40 percent will go to residents of the city of Los Angeles and areas surrounding LAX, according to an advisory from the LAX Public Relations Division.
The Bradley Terminal was built in 1984. It is LAX's primary facility for international travelers.
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