Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Port of Long Beach begins construction on rail expansion project

Construction has begun on the Green Port Gateway, a major port-to-rail infrastructure expansion project in California that will help reduce congestion near the Port of Long Beach by shifting more cargo from trucks to trains.

The project was funded in part by a $17 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant.

"Ports are critical for our country's economic growth and success," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "The Green Port Gateway will build on the progress we made during President Obama's first term, reigniting America's economic engine both here in Long Beach and throughout the country."

When completed, the $83.5-million infrastructure investment project will improve the connection between the Port of Long Beach and the Alameda Corridor rail line that carries about 15 percent of all waterborne containers entering or leaving the United States. On-dock rail will reduce the number of trucks on city streets and highways since port workers will be able to move cargo containers directly from ships to trains within the port instead of using trucks to transport cargo from the port to the rail yards.

The Green Port Gateway project is expected to create 340 full-time construction-related jobs, according to the Port of Long Beach and will add more than 30,000 feet of new track, including adding a new mainline. It will also eliminate a bottleneck and improve safety by rerouting more than 8,000 feet of roadway. Combined, these improvements will increase efficiency, improve cargo throughput and provide a safer working environment for train operations.

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