Friday, September 18, 2015

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Port of Long Beach rail project complete

This week the Port of Long Beach celebrated the completion of a $93 million rail project designed to improve the efficiency of cargo movement as volumes increase at the Port of Long Beach.

The "Green Port Gateway" project was approved for construction at the end of 2012. The project realigned a key rail pathway to relieve a chronic bottleneck, allowing port terminals to increase their use of on-dock rail and decrease truck traffic and pollution, according to a port statement.

Overall, almost 6 miles of new track was laid. The work included adding a third rail line under Ocean Boulevard, along with new retaining walls, utility line modifications and roadway improvements.

The port said the upgrades will serve its southeast terminals, including the new Middle Harbor terminal.

The California State Transportation Agency, California Transportation Commission and CalTrans helped with $23.1 million from the state’s Proposition 1B Trade Corridor Improvement Fund. The U.S. Department of Transportation and the Maritime Administration assisted with $17 million from the TIGER III program (Transportation Investment

Photo credit: Scott Varley/Press-Telegram

Generating Economic Recovery).

The port plans $1 billion in rail projects over the next decade as part of a broader modernization program to improve efficiency and reduce port-related impacts to the environment. Compared to trucks, trains emit one-third less greenhouse gases on a ton-mile basis.

"This project will enable us to reach our goal of moving 35 percent of containerized cargo via on-dock rail this decade," said Port of Long Beach CEO Jon Slangerup. "It will also support our long-range ambition to eventually move 50 percent of our goods directly from terminals by train."

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