Interstate 405 (California)
Interstate 405 known as the San Diego Freeway is a major north–south Interstate Highway in Southern California. It is a bypass auxiliary route of Interstate 5, running along the southern and western parts of the Greater Los Angeles urban area from Irvine in the south to near San Fernando in the north; the entire route is known as the northern segment of the San Diego Freeway, passes the Los Angeles International Airport. The 405 is a traveled thoroughfare by both commuters and by freight haulers along its entire length and is the busiest and most congested freeway in the United States; the freeway's annual average daily traffic between exits 21 and 22 in Seal Beach reached 374,000 in 2008, making it the highest count in the nation. It has played a crucial role in the development of dozens of cities and suburbs along its route through Los Angeles and Orange counties. Interstate 405 begins at the El Toro Y interchange with Interstate 5 in southeastern Irvine, it runs northwest through Orange County to Long Beach in Los Angeles County.
The freeway roughly follows the outline of the Pacific coast, varying between five and ten miles inland before crossing over the Sepulveda Pass in the Santa Monica Mountains. I-405 travels through the San Fernando Valley, before its termination with I-5 in the Mission Hills district of Los Angeles. Large portions of the route parallel Sepulveda Boulevard; the freeway's congestion problems are legendary, leading to jokes that the road was numbered 405 because traffic moves at "four or five" miles per hour, or because drivers had spent "four or five" hours to travel anywhere. Indeed, average speeds as low as 5 mph are recorded during morning and afternoon commutes, its interchanges with the Ventura Freeway and with the Santa Monica Freeway each rank among the five most congested freeway interchanges in the United States; as a result of these congestion problems, delays passing through the entire Los Angeles metropolitan area using this bypass route instead of using the primary route I-5 through Downtown may be present.
Of the major reasons for the excessively heavy traffic on the freeway, I-405 is the only major north–south freeway in the densely populated areas between West Los Angeles and Downtown, crossing the Santa Monica Mountains and connecting San Fernando Valley and the Los Angeles basin. Another parallel freeway is proposed to connect the Valley and the LA basin, but has faced upper class home-owner opposition. Despite 4 years of construction disruptions, billions of dollars of public money, LA Times commentary claims traffic with the lane expansions is just as bad or worse. I-405 is part of the California Freeway and Expressway System, is part of the National Highway System, a network of highways that are considered essential to the country's economy and mobility by the Federal Highway Administration; the freeway from present-day I-10 to I-5 near San Fernando is known as the San Diego Freeway, less as the Sepulveda Freeway. There are a number of points of interest that I-405 connects to. For transportation, these include John Wayne Airport in Orange County, Long Beach Municipal Airport and Los Angeles International Airport.
With connections, it is very close to the Port of Long Beach, the Port of Los Angeles and Burbank Airport. Some of the educational institutions it passes include the California state universities at Dominguez Hills, Long Beach, Northridge. I-405 passes cultural facilities such as the Getty Center, the Skirball Cultural Center and the Segerstrom Center for the Arts. In addition, several shopping malls such as Sherman Oaks Galleria, Westfield Culver City, The Promenade at Howard Hughes Center, Westminster Mall, South Coast Plaza and the Irvine Spectrum Center are located along I-405; the route passes by or through many recreation and commercial destinations. These include more than ten California state beaches, several other beaches owned by counties and municipalities, many of the beach cities favored by tourists, as well as Century City and Marina del Rey. I-405 was approved as a chargeable interstate in 1955. Construction began in 1957 with the first section north of LAX Airport being completed in 1961 followed by sections west of Interstate 605 within the following few years.
The highway was renumbered to Interstate 405 during the 1964 renumbering. The final section covering most of Orange County opened in 1969. Construction required the existing Mulholland Highway to be re-routed 1.1 miles to the south along a new 579-foot-long bridge, the Mulholland Drive Bridge, to span Interstate 405. A section of I-405 was closed over the weekend of Friday, July 15, 2011 as part of the Sepulveda Pass Improvements Project. Before the closing, local radio DJs and television newscasts referred to it as "Carmageddon" and "Carpocalypse", parodying the notion of Armageddon and the Apocalypse, since it was anticipated that the closure would impact traffic. In reality, traffic was lighter than normal across a wide area. California Department of Transportation reported that fewer vehicles used the roads than usual, those who did travel by road arrived more than on a normal weekend; the Metrolink commuter train system recorded its highest-ever weekend ridership since it began operating in 1991.
Los Angeles the City of Los Angeles and known by its initials L. A. is the most populous city in California, the second most populous city in the United States, after New York City, the third most populous city in North America. With an estimated population of four million, Los Angeles is the cultural and commercial center of Southern California; the city is known for its Mediterranean climate, ethnic diversity and the entertainment industry, its sprawling metropolis. Los Angeles is the largest city on the West Coast of North America. Los Angeles is in a large basin bounded by the Pacific Ocean on one side and by mountains as high as 10,000 feet on the other; the city proper, which covers about 469 square miles, is the seat of Los Angeles County, the most populated county in the country. Los Angeles is the principal city of the Los Angeles metropolitan area, the second largest in the United States after that of New York City, with a population of 13.1 million. It is part of the Los Angeles-Long Beach combined statistical area the nation's second most populous area with a 2015 estimated population of 18.7 million.
Los Angeles is one of the most substantial economic engines within the United States, with a diverse economy in a broad range of professional and cultural fields. Los Angeles is famous as the home of Hollywood, a major center of the world entertainment industry. A global city, it has been ranked 6th in the Global Cities Index and 9th in the Global Economic Power Index; the Los Angeles metropolitan area has a gross metropolitan product of $1.044 trillion, making it the third-largest in the world, after the Tokyo and New York metropolitan areas. Los Angeles hosted the 1932 and 1984 Summer Olympics and will host the event for a third time in 2028; the city hosted the Miss Universe pageant twice, in 1990 and 2006, was one of 9 American cities to host the 1994 FIFA men's soccer World Cup and one of 8 to host the 1999 FIFA women's soccer World Cup, hosting the final match for both tournaments. Home to the Chumash and Tongva, Los Angeles was claimed by Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo for Spain in 1542 along with the rest of what would become Alta California.
The city was founded on September 4, 1781, by Spanish governor Felipe de Neve. It became a part of Mexico in 1821 following the Mexican War of Independence. In 1848, at the end of the Mexican–American War, Los Angeles and the rest of California were purchased as part of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, becoming part of the United States. Los Angeles was incorporated as a municipality on April 4, 1850, five months before California achieved statehood; the discovery of oil in the 1890s brought rapid growth to the city. The completion of the Los Angeles Aqueduct in 1913, delivering water from Eastern California assured the city's continued rapid growth; the Los Angeles coastal area was settled by the Chumash tribes. A Gabrieleño settlement in the area was called iyáangẚ, meaning "poison oak place". Maritime explorer Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo claimed the area of southern California for the Spanish Empire in 1542 while on an official military exploring expedition moving north along the Pacific coast from earlier colonizing bases of New Spain in Central and South America.
Gaspar de Portolà and Franciscan missionary Juan Crespí, reached the present site of Los Angeles on August 2, 1769. In 1771, Franciscan friar Junípero Serra directed the building of the Mission San Gabriel Arcángel, the first mission in the area. On September 4, 1781, a group of forty-four settlers known as "Los Pobladores" founded the pueblo they called El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles,'The Town of Our Lady the Queen of the Angels'; the present-day city has the largest Roman Catholic Archdiocese in the United States. Two-thirds of the Mexican or settlers were mestizo or mulatto, a mixture of African and European ancestry; the settlement remained a small ranch town for decades, but by 1820, the population had increased to about 650 residents. Today, the pueblo is commemorated in the historic district of Los Angeles Pueblo Plaza and Olvera Street, the oldest part of Los Angeles. New Spain achieved its independence from the Spanish Empire in 1821, the pueblo continued as a part of Mexico.
During Mexican rule, Governor Pío Pico made Los Angeles Alta California's regional capital. Mexican rule ended during the Mexican–American War: Americans took control from the Californios after a series of battles, culminating with the signing of the Treaty of Cahuenga on January 13, 1847. Railroads arrived with the completion of the transcontinental Southern Pacific line to Los Angeles in 1876 and the Santa Fe Railroad in 1885. Petroleum was discovered in the city and surrounding area in 1892, by 1923, the discoveries had helped California become the country's largest oil producer, accounting for about one-quarter of the world's petroleum output. By 1900, the population had grown to more than 102,000; the completion of the Los Angeles Aqueduct in 1913, under the supervision of William Mulholland, assured the continued growth of the city. Due to clauses in the city's charter that prevented the City of Los Angeles from selling or providing water from the aqueduct to any area outside its borders, many adjacent city and communities became compelled to annex themselves into Los Angeles.
Los Angeles created the first municipal zoning ordinance in the United States. On September 14, 1908, the Los Angeles City Council promulgated residential and industrial land use zones; the new ordinance established three residential zones of a single type, where industrial uses were
Norwalk is a suburban city in Los Angeles County, United States. The population is estimated to be 107,096 as of 2014, it is the 58th most densely-populated city in California. Founded in the late 19th century, Norwalk was incorporated as a city in 1957, it is located 17 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles and is part of the Greater Los Angeles area. Norwalk is a member of the Gateway Cities Council of Governments. Norwalk's sister cities are Morelia, Michoacán, Hermosillo, Sonora, in Mexico; the area known as "Norwalk" was first home to the Shoshonean Native American tribe. They survived on honey, an array of berries, sage, squirrels and birds, their huts were part of the Sejat Indian village. In the late 1760s, settlers and missions flourished under Spanish rule with the famous El Camino Real trail traversing the area. Manuel Nieto, a Spanish soldier, received a Spanish land grant in 1784. After the Mexican–American War in 1848, the Rancho and mining days ended. Portions of the land were subdivided and made available for sale when California was admitted into the union of the United States.
Word of this land development reached the Sproul Brothers in Oregon. They recalled the fertile land and huge sycamore trees they saw during an earlier visit to the Southern California area. In 1869, Atwood Sproul, on behalf of his brother, purchased 463 acres of land at $11 an acre in an area known as Corazón de los Valles, or "Heart of the Valleys". By 1873, railroads were being built in the area and the Sprouls deeded 23 acres stipulating a "passenger stop" clause in the deed. Three days after the Anaheim Branch Railroad crossed the "North-walk" for the first time, Gilbert Sproul surveyed a town site. In 1874, the name was recorded as Norwalk. While a majority of the Norwalk countryside remained undeveloped during the 1880s, the Norwalk Station allowed potential residents the opportunity to visit the "country" from across the nation. What are known as the "first families" to Norwalk settled in the area in the years before 1900. D. D. Johnston pioneered the first school system in Norwalk in 1880.
Johnston was responsible for the first real industry in town, a cheese factory, by furnishing Tom Lumbard with the money in 1882. Norwalk's prosperity was evident in the 1890s with the construction of a number of fine homes that were located in the middle of orchards and dairies. Headstones for these families can be found at Little Lake Cemetery, founded in 1843 on the border between Norwalk and Santa Fe Springs at Lakeland Road. At the turn of the 19th century, Norwalk had become established as a dairy center. Of the 50 local families reported in the 1900 census, most were associated with farming or with the dairy industry. Norwalk was the home of some of the largest sugar beet farms in all of Southern California during this era. Many of the dairy farmers who settled in Norwalk during the early part of the 20th century were Dutch. After the 1950s, the Hispanic population in Norwalk grew as the area became residential. In February 1958, two military aircraft, a Douglas C-118A military transport and a U.
S. Navy P2V-5F Neptune patrol bomber, collided over Norwalk at night. 47 servicemen were killed as well as a civilian 23-year-old woman on the ground, hit by falling debris. A plaque commemorating the disaster erected by American Legion in 1961 marks the spot of the accident, today a mini-mall at the corner of Firestone Boulevard and Pioneer Boulevard. Built in 1891 by the D. D. Johnston family, the Hargitt House was built in the architectural style of Victorian Eastlake; the Hargitt House Museum, located at 12426 Mapledale, was donated to the people of Norwalk by Charles and Ida Hargitt. The museum is open to the public for free on the first and third Saturday of the month from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Norwalk is located at 33°54′25″N 118°5′0″W. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 25.243 km2. 9.707 square miles of it is land and 0.039 square miles of it is water. Norwalk is bordered by Downey to the northwest, Bellflower to the southwest and Artesia to the south, Santa Fe Springs to the north and east.
The 2010 United States Census reported that Norwalk had a population of 105,549. The population density was 10,829.6 people per square mile. The racial makeup of Norwalk was 52,089 White, 4,593 African American, 1,213 Native American, 12,700 Asian, 431 Pacific Islander, 29,954 from other races, 4,569 from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 74,041 persons The Census reported that 103,934 people lived in households, 315 lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, 1,300 were institutionalized. There were 27,130 households, out of which 13,678 had children under the age of 18 living in them, 15,190 were opposite-sex married couples living together, 5,045 had a female householder with no husband present, 2,348 had a male householder with no wife present. There were 1,712 unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, 178 same-sex married couples or partnerships. 3,417 households were made up of individuals and 1,631 had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.83.
There were 22,583 families.
Lynwood is a city in Los Angeles County, California. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 69,772, down from 69,845 at the 2000 census. Lynwood is located near South Compton in the southern portion of the Los Angeles Basin. Incorporated in 1921, the city is named for Lynn Wood Sessions, wife of a local dairyman, Charles Sessions; the local railroad siding and Pacific Electric Railway station were named after the dairy. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.8 square miles, all land. The 2010 United States Census reported that Lynwood had a population of 69,772; the population density was 14,415.7 people per square mile. The racial makeup of Lynwood was 27,444 White, 7,168 African American, 464 Native American, 457 Asian, 206 Pacific Islander, 31,652 from other races, 2,381 from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 60,452 persons; the census reported that 67,120 people lived in households, 449 lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, 2,203 were institutionalized.
There were 14,680 households, out of which 9,790 had children under the age of 18 living in them, 8,303 were opposite-sex married couples living together, 3,266 had a female householder with no husband present, 1,569 had a male householder with no wife present. There were 1,281 unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, 105 same-sex married couples or partnerships. 1,064 households were made up of individuals and 328 had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 4.57. There were 13,138 families; the population was spread out with 22,977 people under the age of 18, 8,705 people aged 18 to 24, 21,245 people aged 25 to 44, 13,075 people aged 45 to 64, 3,770 people who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 27.8 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.1 males. There were 15,277 housing units at an average density of 3,156.4 per square mile, of which 6,829 were owner-occupied, 7,851 were occupied by renters.
The homeowner vacancy rate was 1.9%. 34,023 people lived in owner-occupied housing units and 33,097 people lived in rental housing units. As of the census of 2000, there are 69,845 people, 14,395 households, 12,941 families residing in the city; the population density is 5,560.3/km². There are 14,987 housing units at an average density of 1,193.1/km². The racial makeup of the city is 33.62% white, 13.53% African American, 1.20% Native American, 0.76% Asian, 0.39% Pacific Islander, 46.14% from other races, 4.36% from two or more races. 82.33 % of the population are Latino of any race. There are 14,395 households out of which 63.5% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.5% are married couples living together, 20.6% have a female householder with no husband present, 10.1% are non-families. 7.7% of all households are made up of individuals and 2.6% have someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 4.70 and the average family size is 4.76. In the city, the population is spread out with 38.0% under the age of 18, 13.1% from 18 to 24, 31.2% from 25 to 44, 13.5% from 45 to 64, 4.2% who are 65 years of age or older.
The median age is 24 years. For every 100 females, there are 104.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 104.2 males. The median income for a household in the city is $35,888, the median income for a family is $35,808. Males have a median income of $23,241 versus $19,149 for females; the per capita income for the city is $9,542. 23.5% of the population and 21.0% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 28.3% are under the age of 18 and 14.3% are 65 or older. As of 2000, speakers of Spanish as their first language accounted for 77.43% of residents, while English was spoken by 22.13%, Thai was spoken by 0.16%, Samoan was spoken by 0.09%, Gujarati was spoken by 0.07%, Tagalog was spoken by 0.07%, Vietnamese by 0.05% of the population. Lynwood went through five phases of demographic change in the 20th century. First, a colonial settlement. Second, a farming small town. Third, a working-class white suburb from 1940 to 1970. Fourth, a majority African-American city between 1970 and 1990, today, predominantly Latino.
Fire protection in Lynwood is provided by the Los Angeles County Fire Department. The LACFD operates Station #147 at 3161 East Imperial Highway and Station #148 at 4262 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, both in Lynwood, as a part of Battalion 13; the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department operates the Century Station in Lynwood. The Los Angeles County Department of Health Services operates the South Health Center in Watts, Los Angeles, serving Lynwood. Lynwood is represented in the 63rd Assembly District by Democrat Anthony Rendon and in the 33rd Senate District represented by Democrat Ricardo Lara. In the United States House of Representatives, Lynwood is in California's 44th congressional district, represented by Democrat Nanette Barragán. Mark Ridley-Thomas represents Lynwood located on the 2nd Los Angeles Board of Supervisors District. On March 20, 2006, former mayor Paul H. Richards II was sentenced to 188 months in federal prison after being convicted in 2005 on numerous corruption charges that centered on his funneling of $6 million in city business - including exorbitant no-bid contr
State highways in California
The state highway system of the U. S. state of California is a network of highways that are owned and maintained by the Highway Division of the California Department of Transportation. Each highway is assigned a Route number in the Streets and Highways Code. Most of these are numbered in a statewide system, are known as State Route X. United States Numbered Highways are labeled US X, Interstate Highways are Interstate X. Under the code, the state assigns a unique Route X to each highway, does not differentiate between state, US, or Interstate highways; the California Highway Patrol is tasked with patrolling all state highways to enforce traffic laws. California's highway system is governed pursuant to Division 1 of the California Streets and Highways Code. Since July 1 of 1964, the majority of legislative route numbers, those defined in the Streets and Highways Code, match the sign route numbers. For example, Interstate 5 is listed as "Route 5" in the code. On the other hand, some short routes are instead signed as parts of other routes — for instance, Route 112 and Route 260 are signed as part of the longer State Route 61, Route 51 is part of Interstate 80 Business.
Concurrences are not explicitly codified in the Streets and Highways Code. The state may turn them over to local control. If the relinquished segment is in the middle of the highway's route, the local jurisdiction is required to install and maintain signs directing drivers to the continuation of that highway; the state may delete a highway and turn over an entire state route to local control. Business routes are not maintained by the state unless they are assigned legislative route numbers. A few routes or sections of routes are considered unrelinquished - a new alignment has been built, or the legislative definition has changed to omit the section, but the state still maintains the roadway — and are Route XU. There are two such unrelinqushed routes, with State Route 14U, an old alignment of State Route 14, as the most recent example of such, where the process to relinquish 14U started on January 1 of 2018, along with State Route 103U being the other unrelinquished route within the system; some new alignments are considered supplemental and have a suffix of S.
Both types of suffixed routes are considered spurs. Current or former unsigned suffixed routes include State Route 156U, signed as State Route 156 Business through Hollister, State Route 180S, the freeway replacement for State Route 180 in Fresno; the first legislative routes were defined by the State Highway Bond Act in 1909, passed by the California State Legislature and signed by Governor James Gillett. These, extensions to the system, were numbered sequentially. No signs were erected for these routes; the United States Numbered Highways were assigned by the American Association of State Highway Officials in November 1926, but posting did not begin in California until January 1928. These were assigned to some of the main legislative routes in California. Signs were posted by the Automobile Club of Southern California and California State Automobile Association, active in signing national auto trails and local roads since the mid-1900s. In 1934, after the major expansion of the state highway system in 1933 by the California Legislature, California sign route numbers were assigned by the California Division of Highways.
The California sign route numbers were assigned in a geographical system independent of the legislative routes. Odd-numbered routes ran north–south and even-numbered routes ran east–west; the routes were split among southern California and central and northern California as follows: 0 or 1 modulo 4: central and northern California 2 or 3 modulo 4: southern CaliforniaFor instance, State Route 1 and State Route 4 were in central and northern California, State Route 2 and State Route 3 were in southern California. A rough grid was used inside the two regions, with the largest numbers — all less than 200 - in eastern California and near the border between the two regions; the Interstate Highway System numbers were assigned by AASHO in late 1959. In 1963 and 1964, a total renumbering of the legislative routes was made, aligning them with the sign routes; some changes were made to the sign routes related to decommissionings of U. S. Routes in favor of Interstates. Since the 1990s, many non-freeway routes in urban areas, have been deleted and turned over to local control.
This transfers the cost of maintaining them from state to local budgets, but gives local governments direct control over urban arterial roads th
Judge Harry Pregerson Interchange
The Judge Harry Pregerson Interchange is a stack interchange near the Athens and Watts communities of Los Angeles, United States. It is the interchange of the following routes: I-105 – El Segundo, LAX Airport, Norwalk I-110 – San Pedro, Los AngelesThe interchange permits traffic entering the interchange in all directions to exit in all directions; the interchange contains Metro Green Line tracks, direct HOV and Metro ExpressLanes connectors, the Harbor Transitway, all of which contribute to the towering, imposing structure for which the interchange is known. The interchange is over 130 feet high. Opened with Interstate 105 in 1993, the interchange is named after Harry Pregerson, a longtime federal judge who presided over the lawsuit concerning the I-105 freeway's construction. Motorists entering the interchange on the freeway trunks from all directions have freedom to exit the interchange in all possible directions of travel. Nearly all ramps can be driven at near-mainline speeds if not congested.
However, traffic using the interchange's left-side connectors between the I-105 carpool lanes and the I-110 Metro ExpressLanes is more restricted. Motorists entering eastbound or westbound on the I-105 HOV lanes may connect to the northbound I-110 HOT lanes. Motorists entering the interchange on the southbound I-110 HOT lanes may connect to either the eastbound or westbound I-105 HOV lanes, while motorists entering northbound on the I-110 HOT lanes do not have direct HOV connectors to I-105 and may only continue northbound. HOV/HOT drivers wishing to connect to a direction of travel for which there is no direct left-side connector must exit the HOV/HOT lane at a designated entry/exit point before the interchange and use the mainline connectors, as is typical for HOV lanes in Southern California; the interchange houses the Harbor Freeway Metro station which jointly serves the Metro Green Line light rail and Harbor Transitway bus corridor, which travel down the medians of I-105 and I-110, respectively.
As described in a 1989 Los Angeles Times article, the interchange, connecting the existing I-110 with the new I-105, was designed to be "biggest, most costly traffic structure yet built by California Department of Transportation" and "the first time the state's traffic engineers have integrated three modes of transportation--light-rail trains, high-occupancy vehicles and individual cars--into one giant intersection". In 1996, the U. S. Federal Highway Administration recognized the Interstate 105/Interstate 110 interchange with an Award of Merit in the Urban Highways category of its biennial Excellence in Highway Design awards; the award recognized the interchange's design, which sought to improve traffic congestion and air quality. Shortly before the interchange opened, filmmakers had access to use it for the 1994 motion picture Speed. In one of the movie's best-known scenes, the bus must jump across an unfinished construction gap in an uncompleted elevated freeway-to-freeway ramp while still under construction.
The fifth-level HOV flyover that the bus jumped had been completed, so a gap was added in the editing process using computer-generated imagery. For a full weekend in 2015, one of the interchange ramps was closed for filming the opening musical number of La La Land. California Roads portal
Los Angeles International Airport
Los Angeles International Airport, locally referred to as LAX, is the primary international airport serving Los Angeles, California. LAX is in the Westchester district of the city of Los Angeles, California, 18 miles southwest of Downtown Los Angeles, with the commercial and residential areas of Westchester to the north, the city of El Segundo to the south and the city of Inglewood to the east. Owned and operated by Los Angeles World Airports, an agency of the government of Los Angeles known as the Department of Airports, the airport has over 3,500 acres of land, LAX has four parallel runways. In 2018, LAX handled 87,534,384 passengers, making it the world's fourth busiest and the United States' second busiest airport following Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport; as the largest and busiest international airport on the U. S. West Coast, LAX is a major international gateway to the United States, serves a connection point for passengers traveling internationally; the airport holds the record for the world's busiest origin and destination airport, since relative to other airports, many more travelers begin or end their trips in Los Angeles than use it as a connection.
It is the only airport to rank among the top five U. S. airports for both passenger and cargo traffic. LAX serves as a hub or focus city for more passenger airlines than any other airport in the United States, it is the only airport that four U. S. legacy carriers have designated as a hub and is a focus city for Air New Zealand, Allegiant Air, Norwegian Air Shuttle, Southwest Airlines, Volaris. While LAX is the busiest airport in the Greater Los Angeles Area, several other airports, including Hollywood Burbank Airport, John Wayne Airport, Long Beach Airport, as well as Ontario International Airport serve the area. In 1928, the Los Angeles City Council selected 640 acres in the southern part of Westchester for a new airport; the fields of wheat and lima beans were converted into dirt landing strips without any terminal buildings. It was named Mines Field for the real estate agent who arranged the deal; the first structure, Hangar No. 1, is in the National Register of Historic Places. Mines Field opened as the airport of Los Angeles in 1930 and the city purchased it to be a municipal airfield in 1937.
The name became Los Angeles Airport in 1941 and Los Angeles International Airport in 1949. In the 1930s the main airline airports were Burbank Airport in Burbank and the Grand Central Airport in Glendale. Mines Field did not extend west of Sepulveda Boulevard. A tunnel was completed in 1953 allowing Sepulveda Boulevard to revert to straight and pass beneath the two runways. For the next few years the two runways were 8,500 feet long. Before the 1930s, existing airports used a two-letter abbreviation based on the weather stations at the airports. At that time, "LA" served as the designation for Los Angeles Airport, but with the rapid growth in the aviation industry the designations expanded to three letters c. 1947, "LA" became "LAX." The letter "X" has no specific meaning in this identifier. "LAX" is used for the Port of Los Angeles in San Pedro and by Amtrak for Union Station in downtown Los Angeles. The "Imperial Hill" area in El Segundo is a prime location for aircraft spotting for takeoffs. Part of the Imperial Hill area has been set aside as Clutter's Park.
Another popular spotting location sits under the final approach for runways 24 L&R on a lawn next to the Westchester In-N-Out Burger on Sepulveda Boulevard. This is one of the few remaining locations in Southern California from which spotters may watch such a wide variety of low-flying commercial airliners from directly underneath a flight path. At 12:51 p.m. on Friday, September 21, 2012, a Shuttle Carrier Aircraft carrying the Space Shuttle Endeavour landed at LAX on runway 25L. An estimated 10,000 people saw the shuttle land. Interstate 105 was backed up for miles at a standstill. Imperial Highway was shut down for spectators, it was taken off the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, a modified Boeing 747, was moved to a United Airlines hangar. The shuttle spent about a month in the hangar while it was prepared to be transported to the California Science Center; the distinctive white googie Theme Building, designed by Pereira & Luckman architect Paul Williams and constructed in 1961 by Robert E. McKee Construction Co. resembles a flying saucer that has landed on its four legs.
A restaurant with a sweeping view of the airport is suspended beneath two arches. The Los Angeles City Council designated the building a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument in 1992. A $4 million renovation, with retro-futuristic interior and electric lighting designed by Walt Disney Imagineering, was completed before the Encounter Restaurant opened there in 1997. Visitors are able to take the elevator up to the roof of the "Theme Building", which closed after the September 11, 2001 attacks for security reasons and reopened to the public on weekends beginning on July 10, 2010. Additionally, a memorial to the victims of the 9/11 attacks is located on the grounds, as three of the f