Balfour Beatty lands £1.4bn contract at Los Angeles airport

A Balfour Beatty joint venture project has today been awarded a $1.95bn (£1.4bn) contract to build an above-ground train network at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

LAX Integrated Express Solutions (LINXS) – whose members include Balfour Beatty, Fluor Corporation, Flatiron West and Dragados USA – will design, build, finance, operate and maintain a 2.25-mile system, otherwise known as the “Automated People Mover”.

It is set to connect the LAX central terminal to a yet-to-be constructed rental car facility, six stations and a vehicle maintenance centre. The contract is Balfour's first major public-private partnership in the US civil infrastructure market.

The infrastructure giant has said that “once completed, travellers will enjoy a transportation system that operates up to nine trains simultaneously and moving walkways to the terminals and parking garages”.

Leo Quinn, Balfour Beatty Group chief executive, added: “This award at LAX, one of the world’s busiest airports, recognises our expertise and track record for delivering critical transportation infrastructure.”

Today’s announcement is a welcome upturn for the company after last month’s news of fellow rival Carillion collapsing. The firm was involved with Carillion on three projects including Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route (AWPR), the A14 in Cambridgeshire and the M60 Junction 8 to M62 Junction 20 scheme. It warned investors last month that as a result of Carillion’s liquidation, Balfour Beatty was likely to have to add an extra £35m to £45m into those projects during the year.

Commenting on the announcement, Neil Wilson, analyst at ETX, said: “Good news for Balfour Beatty with a major contract award that should help the stock shrug off the cloud of the Carillion mess that has left the shares down more than 10pc in the last month. This is yet another sign of the solid progress being made under Leo Quinn and the Build to Last strategy."

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