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On Time and Under Budget: Villaraigosa Says Renovated Bradley Terminal Will Be a Boost to L.A.'s Economy

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Yesterday Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa presided over a ceremony at the Bradley International Terminal of LAX to usher in $737 million project he hopes "will reinvent our international gateway to Southern California," according to a piece he wrote in the Huffington Post.

Pointing out that the renovation was done "on time and under budget," Villaraigosa has high hopes that the pricey lipstick we put on one little piggy at the sprawling airport will help improve "passenger convenience and safety" and make our airport more competitive with other US west coast destinations and hubs.

Villaraigosa describes the new Bradley Terminal

:The project included major interior renovations to airline check-in and passenger arrival lobbies; customs arrivals hall and new high-capacity baggage carousels; arrivals corridors, restrooms and boarding gates. This terminal also has a state of the art inline-baggage security system, thanks to a $100 million contribution from the Transportation Security Administration. As the top terrorist target on the West Coast, LAX must also be on the forefront of security measures.
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When it's complete, the building will earn Silver LEED-EB (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design-Existing Building) Certification ("the first-ever award for a renovation project at a U.S. airport!") and lead to "a 20% savings in energy use, a 24% savings in water use."

While the space got the thumbs up from passengers arriving yesterday during the unveiling, the task to make Bradley and LAX more efficient is far from over.

"The next phase [of the renovation] requires that at least $100 million worth of current improvements to 10 of 11 gates at the terminal will have to be torn out to make way for future construction," explains the LA Times. Aviation and airline consultant Jack Keady notes: "Arriving passengers are still being bused from remote gates to the Bradley terminal and traffic around the airport is terrible, and that no matter how lovely the inside is, the changes to the terminal "won't help if international travelers continue to come out of the Bradley and are met by diesel fumes and traffic congestion."