State, federal funding help fix rail bottleneck, improve operations
March 26, 2013
Officials on Tuesday formally launched 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.
The "Green Port Gateway" project, funded in part with state and federal transportation dollars, is realigning a critical rail pathway to the Port's southeastern terminals and adding a rail support yard for the Port’s new Middle Harbor Terminal, already under construction.
The project will add 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 one Port thoroughfare to make room for the additional rail line. Overall, about 29,000 feet of track is being added.
The Port is funding the project with the help of $27 million from the state's Proposition 1B Trade Corridor Improvement Fund, and another $17 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s TIGER III program (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery). The construction work, awarded to Ames Construction of Corona, is generating about 340 jobs now through scheduled completion of the work in July 2014.
The Green Port Gateway -- the first of four rail projects already started or expected to begin in the next year to promote more on-dock rail shipments -- is also part of the larger San Pedro Bay Ports Rail Enhancement Program, which involves several projects by the Port of Long Beach, the Port of Los Angeles and the Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority.
The project is part of about $4.5 billion in capital improvements in progress or planned this decade.