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Port Dedicates New $65-million Ocean Boulevard Roadway

Improved Terminal Island access route cuts commute time, air pollution

June 25, 2007

Faster commutes and reduced air pollution were celebrated Monday, June 25, 2007 when the Port of Long Beach dedicated the successful completion of the $65 million Ocean Boulevard improvement project on Terminal Island.

Thanks to the elimination of two traffic signals on the important port-area thoroughfare, commuting between Long Beach and San Pedro has dramatically improved.

The improved roadway "is saving motorists five to 10 minutes from their drive each way" across Terminal Island," said Harbor Commission President James Hankla. "Cargo trucks move through here much more easily. We’ve cut the unnecessary idling at the stop lights. The economic benefits of the time and fuel savings add up to nearly $30 million a year."

The project provides a new, elevated interchange between Ocean Boulevard and the Terminal Island Freeway, a major improvement for a busy juncture that handles about 50,000 vehicles each day. The centerpiece of the project is a new, raised Ocean Boulevard, which allows for non-stop east-west travel. The improved roadway opened March 26.

Traffic now moves nonstop on the freeway-like road, from the Gerald Desmond Bridge to Navy Way, saving each motorist about 10 minutes per trip across the island, or one and a half hours a week for those who commute five days a week. In addition, the project is reducing pollution because of the elimination of idling, backups and congestion along Ocean Boulevard. 

Motorists are saving an estimated $7 million a year on fuel expenses and an estimated 5,600 vehicle hours a day in reduced traffic delays. The project is reducing air pollution by 350 tons a year and is reducing fuel consumption by 9,300 gallons a day.

It is the Port’s first major "Green Port" infrastructure improvement project, of many more to come, Hankla said.

"We need to make the investments that will maintain the Port of Long Beach as a center for world trade," Hankla said. "At the same time that we pioneer goods movement, we need to enhance the quality of life in this region."

The project was funded by the Port, the U.S. Department of Transportation, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro). The prime contractor was Ortiz Enterprises, the construction manager was Jacobs Engineering.

Want to see more? Click here to see video coverage of the Ocean Boulevard dedication (2 minutes). Click here for a "Pulse of the Port" video feature about the Ocean Boulevard project.

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