Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Long Beach Board Postpones Middle Harbor Budget Vote

The Port of Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners has temporarily put off voting on the full budget for a $1.2 billion plan to renovate two aging shipping terminals, saying that more time is needed for review.

During its Jan. 7 meeting, the board agreed to place the vote on hold pending further review of the Middle Harbor redevelopment project by commissioners, stakeholders and the public. A workshop has been tentatively set for Jan. 22, with the time still to be determined.

“There will be a study session about the overall project,” Commission President Susan Anderson Wise explained. “Its phases and various contracts will be reviewed in order for the board to have a broader understanding of the entire project before voting on the project budget.”

The Middle Harbor redevelopment plan consists of the combining of two aging shipping terminals, Pier E and Pier F, into one modern terminal for the purpose of improving cargo-movement efficiency and reduction of environmental hazards. According to the port, the project upgrades wharfs, water access and storage area; as well as add a greatly expanded on-dock rail yard.

Despite the lack of final budget approval, work on the nine year project began in the spring of 2011; since then, the port has been upgrading the area’s wharfs, water access and storage area, plus expanding on-dock rail.

On April 3, 2012, Orient Overseas Container Line signed a 40-year, $4.6 billion lease with the port to operate the 300-acre terminal along with its subsidiary, Long Beach Container Terminal. LBCT has occupied Pier F since 1986.