A newly completed, $88-million crossfield taxiway connecting the north and south airfields is now in service at Los Angeles International Airport.

A Qantas Airbus A-380 super jumbo jet was the first aircraft to travel on the 3,437-foot crossfield taxiway, also known as Taxiway R.

The completion of Taxiway R, which came in on schedule and within budget, will improve the safety and efficiency of aircraft ground movements, and alleviate the periodic congestion that has occurred on the airfield, airport officials note. It is the first Category 6 taxiway at LAX constructed to accommodate new large aircraft.

Airport officials said the opening of Taxiway R is a major milestone because it reduces airfield congestion at or near the midfield taxiways.

Long-term environmental aspects of the project include two stormwater treatment systems to improve the quality of stormwater effluent leaving the airport. A portion of the project used pervious concrete, an environmentally friendly surface that allows stormwater to flow through, reducing flooding and standing water, as well as surface pollutants.

The airfield lights for the project are light emitting diodes (LED) that require less energy use.

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