The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners this week awarded a $36.8 million construction contract for the “Green Port Gateway,” a railroad project designed to enhance the Port of Long Beach’s capacity for “on-dock rail” — which cuts down on truck traffic and air pollution.
State and federal funds helped to pay for the Gateway, designed to serve terminals like the $1.2 billion Middle Harbor, currently under construction. The Green Port Gateway includes a major track realignment and development of a rail support yard.
The U.S Department of Transportation’s TIGER III — Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery — program provided $17 million and the state’s Proposition 1B transportation measure provided $31.75 million for the project. In addition to the construction contract, the total cost includes engineering design, utility relocation and construction management.
“We’re grateful to our state and federal funding partners for their help with this important project. The Green Port Gateway is an important component of the Port’s overall modernization project. It will allow us to move cargo more efficiently,” said Susan E. Anderson Wise, President of the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners.
Construction could begin as early as November of this year and is expected to continue until July 2014. The project includes demolition and removal of existing tracks, laying of 29,000 linear feet of new tracks and building of 6,000 linear feet of retaining walls. The improvements will minimize derailments and optimize rail traffic flow to and from waterfront terminals. The contractor is Ames Construction Inc. of Corona.
The Green Port Gateway Project is the first of four rail projects expected to begin over the next year to enhance on-dock rail, which allows terminals to load containers right on their facilities rather than having them trucked to rail yards outside the Port. It’s also part of the larger San Pedro Bay Ports Rail Enhancement Program, which includes several projects by the Port of Long Beach, the Port of Los Angeles and the Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority.
Overall, the Port of Long Beach has $4.5 billion in capital improvement projects planned or underway this decade.