Rail project at Port of Long Beach wins $14 mln grant
The Port of Long Beach has been awarded a $14 million grant to help pay for construction of a planned rail project that will increase efficiency while also reducing traffic congestion on local streets and freeways, the company said in a press release.
The grant is from the Trade Corridor Enhancement Program, which helps pay for improvements to freight corridors across California using designated transportation funds from Senate Bill 1 and the National Highway Freight Program. The Port will contribute the remaining $11 million for the $25 million project, which aims to increase operational efficiency, reduce delays by providing greater reliability for on-dock rail and decrease roadway congestion by shifting more containers to rail.
“Moving goods by rail is four times more efficient than by truck, so this project would enhance our operational excellence and environmental sustainability,” said Mario Cordero, Executive Director of the Port of Long Beach.
The planned “Pier G and J Double Track Access Project” will add a new 9,000-foot departure track for trains serving four of Long Beach’s six container terminals. The project will allow for better utilization of the on-dock rail yards at Piers G and J by enabling them to simultaneously handle arriving and departing trains. The project will also minimize conflict with neighboring terminals’ on-dock rail operations and improve overall safety in the vicinity.
When completed, the project will expand on-dock rail usage by approximately 157,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) of container cargo annually, while reducing the need for 615 daily truck trips.
“The Harbor Commission welcomes the grant, which helps to modernize the Port and strengthen its ability to contribute to the regional and state economy,” said Tracy Egoscue, President of the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners.
As a vital piece of the Port’s $1 billion rail infrastructure capital improvement program, the project will eliminate an existing bottleneck.
The project is scheduled to start construction by the end of 2019 and be completed by mid-2021.