By Seth Merewitz.

In the largest public-private partnership procurement in the history of California, the Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners announced plans to deliver a world-class transportation system to Los Angeles International Airport through the estimated $5 billion Landside Access Modernization Program.

The centerpiece of the Modernization Program will be an automated people mover that will connect the Central Terminal Area with a new consolidated rental car facility, with stops in between at new airport parking facilities and a station connecting to the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority regional transit system.

The people mover, which will be free to all users, will consist of an elevated 2.25-mile guideway with six stations, pedestrian bridges to airport terminals, parking garages and fixed facilities. The rental car facility will accommodate rental car agencies currently serving LAX at one convenient location adjacent to Interstate 405 (San Diego Freeway). LAWA has initiated the environmental review and clearance process for LAMP, and is collaborating with key agency and community stakeholders throughout the process. More details will be announced at a workshop in early February 2016.

After evaluating several different delivery methods, LAWA determined that the Design-Build-Finance-Operate-Maintain method is best suited to deliver at least two elements of LAMP: the people mover and the rental car facility. Proposed construction duration of both will be from 2017 to 2023. “The decision to utilize a delivery method that focuses on working hand-in-hand with the private sector will help drive innovation and quality,” said Sean Burton, president of the Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners, in a LAWA press release.

Public agencies throughout the nation and internationally (although seldom in California) have successfully used the DBFOM delivery method to build critical infrastructure projects. In comparison to the design-bid-build delivery method, DBFOM can result in cost savings, greater cost control/cost certainty, schedule acceleration, increased access to private-sector innovation, an ability to transfer appropriate risks to the private sector, life-cycle efficiencies, fixed operations and maintenance payments for the life of the project, and reduced administrative costs.

“The DBFOM method allows for a process that benefits LAWA and is inclusive of our values; comprehensive environmental review, transparency with our communities, project labor agreements and participation opportunities for local and small businesses,” LAWA Executive Director Deborah Flint said in the release.

This important project follows in the line of other major California DBFOM projects. To date, Caltrans completed the Presidio Parkway and the Long Beach Superior Court courthouse. Other DBFPM projects under procurement in California include the City of Long Beach Civic Center and the University of California, Merced 2020 Project.

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Merewitz_Seth-c2Seth Merewitz is a partner at Best Best & Krieger LLP, and leads the Public-Private Partnership Group. You can reach him at or (213) 787-2567.

This is not intended as legal advice.