Thursday, January 17, 2013

Port of Los Angeles begins construction on West Basin Railyard

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The Berth 200/West Basin Railyard at the Port of Los Angeles will improve a critical link in the nation's freight network. The Berth 200/West Basin Railyard at the Port of Los Angeles will improve a critical link in the nation's freight network. Business Wire

Construction has begun on a staging and storage rail yard that will serve as a critical link between the Port of Los Angeles and the Alameda Corridor.

According to the port, when completed, the $137.7 million Berth 200/West Basin Railyard project will move cargo more safely and efficiently, reduce truck traffic on roads and freeways and improve regional air quality while strengthening the Port of Los Angeles' position as the nation's top trade gateway.

The Berth 200 rail yard project also enables track space at the TraPac container terminal to serve as TraPac's future on-dock rail facility. With completion of the $365 million in rail, roadway and terminal improvements at TraPac over the next three years, TraPac will join the other seven container terminals at the Port of Los Angeles that offer shippers the speed-to-market advantage of on-dock rail.

"This project creates jobs, reduces pollution and makes our city a better place to live, work and do business," said Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. "The economic and environmental benefits of this investment will be felt across the nation."

"The Port's top priorities are competitive operations, strong relationships and financial strength," said Port Executive Director Geraldine Knatz. "This project hits all three marks by allowing us to move cargo more safely and efficiently, making us a better business partner and neighbor to our surrounding communities, and procuring federal and state funding to make the best use of port dollars."

The rail yard will be constructed with $16 million in federal grant money from the U.S. Department of Transportation's Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery program. The port secured $51.2 million from the State Proposition 1B Trade Corridors Improvement Fund Grant that is administered by the California Department of Transportation and $22.1 million from LACMTA-awarded federal funds. The port is investing $48.37 million from its Harbor Revenue funds for the project.

The project will be built in two phases. Phase 1 includes construction of the new yard, support tracks for the TraPac and China Shipping/West Basin Container terminals, double-track connections to the Alameda Corridor and national rail network and access road improvements. Phase 2 is due to begin construction in 2013 and includes final rail network connections and vehicle overpasses to eliminate at-grade crossings for safer, more efficient flow of truck and commuter traffic. Both phases are due to be completed in summer 2014.

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