Friday, March 29, 2013

Green Port Gateway Project Launches

An $84 million Port of Long Beach project to remove a railroad bottleneck and build additional on-dock rail capacity to move cargo more efficiently and sustainably was officially launched March 26.
The “Green Port Gateway” project, funded in part with state and federal transportation money, is realigning a rail pathway to the port’s southeastern terminals and adding a rail support yard for Long Beach’s new Middle Harbor mega terminal, which is currently under construction.

The project adds a third rail line at Ocean Boulevard, helping to 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. Roadwork will also be needed to reconfigure a port thoroughfare to make room for the additional rail line. Overall, the port says, about 29,000 feet of track is being added.

The port’s funding the project with the help of $27 million from the State of California’s Proposition 1B Trade Corridor Improvement Fund and $17 million from the US Department of Transportation’s TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) III program.

The Green Port Gateway is the first of four rail projects already started or expected to begin in the next year to promote more on-dock rail shipments. It’s 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 as well as the Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority.

The project, which is expected to generate about 340 jobs now through scheduled completion of the work in July 2014, is part of about $4.5 billion in capital improvements in progress or planned this decade at Long Beach.