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Gerald Desmond Bridge kickoff event

Port launches $1 billion project to replace the aging Gerald Desmond Bridge (above), which handles 15 percent of U.S. cargo.

Clean TrucksVirtually all older drayage trucks are banned from Port terminals under the Clean Trucks Program (right), which reaches its clean air goals two years ahead of schedule.

Containerized cargo at the port increases by 1.2 million units in 2010, the largest single increase of any seaport in the United States. The jump represents a nearly 25 percent gain over 2009, the largest one-year increase in Port history.

Girl at Wyland wall -- Green Port FestThousands attend the Port of Long Beach's annual Green Port Fest in October, an opportunity for the public to learn more about the Port's operations and environmental programs in a fun, street festival setting. The 2010 event features Long Beach Arena muralist Wyland (his art can be seen at left).

100th Birthday PartyThe Port of Long Beach celebrates its Centennial with a year of events, publications, and a web site, www.polb.com/100years. The public is invited to share comments, memories and photos of the port on the Centennial blog at www.polb.com/blog. The Centennial celebration culminates in June with a huge birthday party held on Pier E (now part of the Middle Harbor Redevelopment Project). Thousands of people attend the event, which features carnival rides, Port history exhibits and screenings of “Faces of the Port,” a documentary about the Port’s first century.

J. Christopher Lytle is named Executive Director of the Port of Long Beach. He takes over from the retiring Richard D. Steinke at the beginning of 2012.

The Port’s Clean Trucks Program reaches its final milestone on Jan. 1, with the last older container trucks banned from Port terminals, meaning all 11,000 drayage trucks servicing the Port are now 2007 or newer vehicles. Over five years, the program has cut truck-related air pollution by 90 percent.

MSC FabiolaIn March, the Port welcomes the MSC Fabiola, a 1,200-foot-long, 12,500-TEU ship that at the time is the largest container vessel to call at a North American port. As more terminals at the Port become “Big Ship Ready,” even larger vessels will dock in Long Beach in the coming months.

The Port and Orient Overseas Container Line sign a historic $4.6 billion, 40-year lease for the new Middle Harbor container terminal in April. The megaterminal, which will handle twice the cargo of previous terminals in the space, but with only half the pollution, is scheduled to become operational in stages, with full completion scheduled for 2019. A ceremony including the driving of a ceremonial “golden pile” is held in May to commemorate the signing.

The Board of Harbor Commissioners approves the design-build contract for the construction of the replacement for the Gerald Desmond Bridge. The contract is awarded to a joint venture team headed by Shimmick Construction Co. Inc., FCC Construction S.A. and Impregilo S.p.A.

In August, the Colorado Lagoon in Long Beach reopens after a major restoration project. The Port contributed $2 million to the project and saved the project another $2 million by accepting dredged contaminated sediments.

CMA CGM, the world’s third-largest container shipping line, purchases a stake in the lease and operations of the Port’s Pier J terminal, the company’s first investment on the West Coast. CMA CGM joins SSA Marine and COSCO in operating Pacific Container Terminal on Pier J.

Gerald Desmond Bridge replacement rendering

Construction officially begins on the Gerald Desmond Bridge Replacement Project. Over the next few months, work on the project proceeds, including the demolition of the Pier T offramp from Ocean Boulevard. The project faces challenges, including the presence of dozens of active and abandoned oil wells beneath the project, some of which are hard to locate using plans or maps following decades of subsidence. Many of the wells, abandoned years ago, must be remediated using today’s environmental standards. To keep stakeholders and the public informed, a website, www.newgdbridge.com, is launched, as well as the LB Bridge App (available for smartphones and tablets) with updates on construction and traffic impacts.

Port Executive Director J. Christopher Lytle announces his resignation effective mid-July in order to become director of the Port of Oakland. The Board of Harbor Commissioners names Chief Harbor Engineer Al Moro as his interim replacement until a permanent chief executive can be chosen.

According to an annual air quality analysis released in August, the Port has cut diesel particulates 81 percent from 2005 to 2012. Thanks to measures to reduce emissions under the Green Port Policy, smog-forming nitrogen oxides and sulfur oxides are down 54 percent and 88 percent respectively. Greenhouse gases have dropped by 24 percent.

In a sign that the Port is recovering from the global recession, cargo volumes for 2013 rise 11.3 percent to 6,730,573 TEUs, the Port’s third-busiest year behind only 2006 and 2007.

Port Interim Administrative OfficesIn February, most of the Harbor Department’s staff moves from the Administration Building at 925 Harbor Plaza to Interim Administrative Offices at 4801 Airport Plaza Drive, just south of the Long Beach Airport. The interim offices are the department’s fourth headquarters. The previous Administration Building, completed in 1960, was found to be seismically inadequate. Maintenance and security personnel remain in their headquarters on Harbor Plaza and Pier F, respectively.

The Port inaugurates an Environmental Achievement Awards program, recognizing ocean carriers for bringing their newest, cleanest vessels to Long Beach, also helping to cut emissions by reducing vessel speed as they approach the Harbor.

Port Chief Executive Jon SlangerupThe Board of Harbor Commissioners names Jon Slangerup, a veteran corporate executive with extensive experience in global logistics and environmental technologies, as the Port of Long Beach’s new Chief Executive. Slangerup, a native of Northern California, has 30 years of corporate leadership experience, including serving as president of FedEx Canada, transforming it from a small regional domestic courier operation into Canada’s leading international express logistics company.

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