Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Long Beach Receives $17 Million Federal Transportation Grant

The Port of Long Beach has received $17 million in grants from a federal transportation program to help fund the “Green Port Gateway,” a $60 million project to improve rail flow and the environment in and around the Port of Long Beach.

The Green Port Gateway project, which includes an Ocean Boulevard track realignment and construction of a Pier F rail support yard, will go out for bid this summer, with construction expected to begin in early 2013.

The project is expected to add a third rail line, which would help remove bottlenecks on the existing mainline track to allow port terminals to shift cargo from trucks to trains, which decreases local traffic congestion and air pollution. The improvements would also minimize derailments and optimize rail traffic flow to the waterfront terminals, according to the port.

The project would take an estimated 19 months to construct, during which about 340 new jobs would be created, according to the port.

The federal funds come from the US Department of Transportation’s Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery, or TIGER, program.

The Green Port Gateway project is the first of four rail projects expected to begin in the next year to promote more on-dock rail shipments, and is also part of the larger San Pedro Bay Ports Rail Enhancement Program, which involves several projects by the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, in conjunction with the Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority.

Overall, the Port of Long Beach has more than $4.4 billion in capital improvement projects planned for the next 10 years. About $27 million has been secured for the Green Port Gateway project from the state’s Proposition 1B Trade Corridor Improvement Fund. The $17 million in TIGER funds brings the state and federal contributions to $44 million.