With a $7 billion facelift of the Los Angeles International Airport ramping up in a month, things are about to get worse for passengers before they can get better, officials warned today.
In preparation for the impending construction, estimated to last until 2019, airport officials have started a "pardon-our-dust" outreach campaign to help travelers navigate blocked-off roads and fenced-off areas within the airport terminals.
"We are expecting our construction projects in the coming years to be very invasive to our passengers, not only in our terminals, but along our roadways," said Amanda Parsons of Los Angeles World Airports, the agency that operates LAX and other city-owned airports.
"We understand as this construction endeavor continues, it's going to cause some pain for our passengers," she said.
The campaign is meant to tell people that airport officials understand what they are going through and are "doing our best to make it easy as possible," she said.
The campaign, called "LAX is Happening," will include multimedia, signs and websites that providing tips and information warning the public about areas to avoid and detour routes, according to Parsons.
The Central Terminal Area will be one of the areas hardest hit by the construction and will be "a nightmare to navigate," Parsons said.
To lessen the intrusions, officials will schedule construction work during non-peak traffic hours, Parsons said.
Parsons added that the campaign will adopt a playful tone, using humor to try to alleviate passengers' sense of frustration when faced with inconveniences such as a closed restroom.
Signs have already gone up throughout the airport and surrounding streets informing airport travelers that major construction is about the begin.
A website at http://www.laxishappening.com was also launched with maps showing real-time traffic at LAX, fact sheets and tips for passengers.
The site also details the upgrades travelers can expect to enjoy when construction is completed, including more electronics charging stations, architectural features that allow more natural lighting and restaurants that are representative of the Los Angeles area.
The upgrades also include reinforcement of the upper level roadway, new gates and waiting areas, a modern baggage screening system and improved security checkpoints.
--City News Service