View of Los Angeles

How to Build an Olympic City

Los Angeles has prioritized 28 transportation and infrastructure projects ahead of hosting the 2028 Summer Olympics.
By Rick Cassidy
January 30, 2023

The 2028 Summer Olympic Games are scheduled to take place in Los Angeles from July 14 to July 30, 2028. LA will join London and Paris on the short list of cities that have hosted the games three times, having previously been home to the Summer Olympics in 1932 and 1984.

The 2028 Games will bring 15,000 of the world’s finest athletes to Southern California to compete in 800 events in 40 sports—along with hundreds of thousands of eager spectators to watch them. As the city prepares for this massive influx of visitors over the next five years, there will be opportunities for construction and engineering companies to leave their mark on LA’s general infrastructure.


Los Angeles plans to rely heavily on existing and already under-construction facilities to stage 2028 Olympic events and house athletes and attendees. With that in mind, the city has given accelerated priority to 28 major transportation and infrastructure projects throughout Los Angeles County—known as the “Twenty-Eight by ’28.”

Of the nearly $7 billion in projected costs the city will incur to host the games, $1.4 billion is earmarked solely for these projects, which cover a litany of transportation needs, from subway extensions to entirely new lightrail systems and interstate-highway improvements. Other projects involve creating biking and walking routes to offer attendees alternatives to auto travel in a city notorious for its traffic congestion.

With an ever-dwindling window of time to complete the allotted infrastructure projects ahead of 2028, technology such as aerial imagery will help pave a clear path toward realization. Thanks to crisp imagery and 3D datasets, project managers can create compelling visuals that safeguard the accuracy of projects of this magnitude. With LA adopting a “no-build” mindset for the impending games, precision, efficiency and execution are paramount to the overall success of companies vying for their spot on the construction roster. State-of-the-art technology will serve as a foundational pillar for revamping the city’s current infrastructure to better meet the needs of both residents and spectators. Aerial imagery has the added benefit of clearly mapping out the full scope of potential impacts on an area, helping to minimize the inconveniences that construction may present without sacrificing
the integrity of the project.


Expansive, long-term projects demand maintaining additional communication touchpoints and keeping track of onsite operations and crews while work is in progress to ensure deadlines are met. Aerial imagery provides a canvas for architectural and engineering designs that can be accessed directly on portable devices such as laptops, tablets and mobile phones, right inside geographic information system (GIS), design and visualization platforms such as Autodesk, Esri and Bentley Systems. Construction engineers may also use aerial imagery to prepare for work and optimize resources—such as determining the assembly of heavy equipment, mapping the turning radius of cranes for clearance and planning the ideal placement of machinery across an expansive jobsite. Once the project is underway, this technology can help plan and execute the procurement, transport and stationing of workers and materials during all phases of construction, reducing congestion and disruption to the local community and surrounding businesses and controlling labor costs.

By having detailed site maps at their fingertips, project managers can accurately assess progress, pinpoint new challenges that were previously unaccounted for and plan out a course of action while staying within the budget.


Aerial imagery and data enable you to gather comprehensive specifications from large areas, including imagery so precise that you can take height, pitch and length measurements to scale and include them in proposals to allocate labor and materials. Gathering these measurements accurately can help you avoid errors that can occur through traditional onsite measurement processes and even prevent additional costs and delays. The availability of technology to complete such a task has seen a prominent spike in market visibility since 2020, becoming more readily available and trusted as a tool for surveying construction sites in a timely and cost-efficient manner.

Ancillary tools such as 3D modeling and AI-powered location insights can allow you to detect public utility components and other environmental factors, serving as your project manager’s “boots on the ground.” Your teams can view, measure and export vertical, oblique and 3D content wherever they are and explore it in their GIS or CAD applications. The ease with which any project manager or crew member can access this information sets a new precedent for a crew’s ability to pivot based on the most recent imagery provided. Not only do these technologies make the seemingly insurmountable task of completing large-scale projects prior to the 2028 Olympic Games a possibility, they make it an attainable reality—with a legacy that will stretch years beyond the event. Many aerial imaging and location data companies compile multiple data points per year, with some providing imagery that stretches back over a decade. Once a project is completed, they provide a vivid before-and-after testament to its contribution to the community. After the 2028 Summer Olympic Games, Los Angeles will be considerably easier to navigate thanks to the 28 infrastructure projects that are now in the works.

by Rick Cassidy

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