LOS ANGELES (CNS) - People planning to travel to Los Angeles International Airport this weekend should give themselves plenty of time and consider alternate routes, with a 57-hour closure of a stretch of Century Boulevard scheduled to begin today.

The so-called ``Century Crunch'' closure will shut down the popular route beginning at 9 p.m. today, as crews demolish a defunct railroad bridge at Century and Aviation boulevards. Century will remain blocked until 6 a.m. Monday.

``We need to bring down this old defunct railroad freight bridge to put up a new aerial light rail station. Ultimately you will get to see a lot of progress and it will be easier to get in and out of LAX, but for now, you're going to have to put up with this inconvenience this weekend,'' Marc Littman, a spokesman for Metro, told Video News West at the demolition site this morning.

Transportation officials have been warning about the project for weeks, urging travelers to plan ahead, while encouraging people who don't urgently need to be in the area to avoid it altogether.

'`Angelenos, we've been through this before, and we're asking for your patience as we tear down an old bridge to make way for a state-of-the-art light rail system,'' County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, a member of the Metro Board of Directors, said last month when the closure was announced. ``So we're asking you to re-route your drive for two days at the end of July. In return, we're going to build you a system that will ultimately connect our urban center to LAX and the South Bay.''

The bridge demolition will make way for a light rail station for the Crenshaw/LAX line, which will connect the Metro Green and Expo lines.

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