Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Port of Long Beach Receives $17 Million Rail Project Grant

The US Department of Transportation has awarded a $17 million grant to the Port of Long Beach to help fund a rail track improvement project that’s expected to allow for a shift of cargo carriage to trains from trucks.

As part of the $66 million Green Port Gateway, which is slated to begin construction in 2012, 16,400 new feet of track would be laid to relieve a rail chokepoint at the Ocean Boulevard overcrossing near the 710 Freeway, according to the port.

“This project will not only bring jobs, which are critical during these tough economic times, but also enhance both our region’s and the nation’s long-term economic competitiveness by improving the port’s rail system,” POLB Executive Director Chris Lytle said.

The gateway’s expected to eliminate about 2.3 million truck trips by 2035 from local roadways by improving rail transportation in and out of the port complex. The reduced truck trips would theoretically help alleviate traffic congestion and cut air pollution.

The project’s part of the larger San Pedro Bay Ports Rail Enhancement Program, which involves several inter-related projects by the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles and the Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority.