Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa participated in groundbreaking for the renovation, upgrading and modernization of the Tom Bradley International Terminal at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) Monday, February 26th.

Villaraigosa was joined by Los Angeles City Council members Bill Rosendahl and Janice Hahn, Board of Airport Commissioners president Alan Rothenberg, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) director Larry Fetters, and Frank Clark, director of LAXTEC (an airline-owned consortium that assures operation of various certain infrastructure equipment at LAX).

“Tom Bradley International Terminal is one of the most used terminals in the country and the world, and it is only fitting that we keep it modern and up-to-date,” Villaraigosa said. “This renovation project is absolutely critical to the development of this airport and the satisfaction, convenience and safety of our passengers.”

The $723.5 million terminal renovation project consists of adding an additional 45,000 square feet of space to the already one-million-square-foot terminal and a $140 million state-of-the-art in-line baggage screening system.

Other features include two executive lounges, new elevators and escalators, new paging systems and moving walkways, new security systems and closed circuit televisions, and making the building LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified.

“Los Angeles International Airport is the gateway to our city,” Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl said. “It is important that we provide a safer, greener, more modern and efficient airport for our traveling public. These renovations do just that.”

This is the single largest project in the City of Los Angeles’s history, and also considered one of the most complex U.S. airport projects, city officials said.

The changes and additions to the terminal will help LAX retain its competitiveness as the premier West Coast international gateway to the Asia-Pacific Rim, officials said.

“Once completed, the new-look Tom Bradley International Terminal will boost LAX up the ranks as the number-one airport in the world,” Villaraigosa said. “This will be a world-class facility and a leader in technological advancements.”

Tom Bradley International Terminal was designed in 1982 and constructed in time for the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games. Construction for this renovation project is expected to be completed by 2010.

The more than 30 airlines at the Tom Bradley International Terminal served more than nine million international travelers in 2006.

Construction is being performed by the Clark/McCarthy Joint Venture, which includes Clark Construction Group from Bethesda, Maryland and McCarthy Building Companies from St. Louis, Missouri.