Friday, February 22, 2013

POLB Board Approves ‘Green Wall’ Experiment

The Port of Long Beach Harbor Commission has approved a plan to build a demonstration of a “green wall” – a barrier made up of recycled mulch from the city’s tree trimming operations – along the Terminal Island Freeway.

The “green wall” is expected to help block the sound and visual blight of the freeway at a fraction of the cost of a traditional brick wall. Vining plants and trees will also be planted adjacent to the wall to help trap particulate matter and clean the air.

The wall, along with the trees, is expected to help improve air quality, provide sound mitigation and lessen visual blight.

The project was developed by the City of Long Beach’s Office of Sustainability and will be built along the west end of Hudson Park, feet away from the freeway. The port and City of Long Beach say they will perform a series of tests on the barrier and then consider extending the project to the north and south to provide a barrier next to local schools.

The mile-and-a-half Terminal Island Freeway is mostly used as a service road for the goods movement industry. Drayage trucks typically use it to haul goods to and from the LA-Long Beach port complex.

“There are thousands of diesel truck trips every day on the Terminal Island Freeway with no barrier between it and nearby schools, veteran’s facilities, park space and homes,” Long Beach Councilmember James Johnson, who represents the district that includes the port area, said. ”This is a cost effective and environmentally friendly way to remedy a situation that should have been corrected long ago.”