Port Technology: Port of Long Beach receives $283 million grant for new green gateway

By Rakin Rahman

The Port of Long Beach has announced it will receive $283 million from the federal government to assist in building ‘America’s Green Gateway’.

This rail project will reportedly enable the port to move more cargo by trains, speeding deliveries across the entire national supply chain, easing congestion, and lessening local environmental impacts.

The funding was awarded for the port’s Pier B On-Dock Rail Support Facility through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Mega Grant Program. The $1.567 billion project is the centrepiece of the port’s on-dock rail construction improvements.

According to the port, moving cargo by on-dock rail – directly moving containers to and from marine terminals by trains – is cleaner and more efficient, as it reduces truck traffic.

When the new facility opens, no cargo trucks will visit. Instead, smaller train segments will be brought to the facility and joined together into a full-sized train.

Construction is expected to begin next year. The new facility will more than double the size of the existing Pier B rail yard from 82 acres to 171 acres and more than triple the volume of on-dock rail cargo the port can handle annually, from 1.5 million TEU to 4.7 million TEU.

The yard will also feature a depot for fuelling and servicing up to 30 locomotives at the same time and a full-service staging area to assemble and break down trains up to 10,000 feet long.

The overall project will be built in phases, each improving cargo flow, with completion by 2032.

Due to the importance of the Pier B On-Dock Rail Support Facility to the national supply chain, the port continues to seek funding partners for the project.

The California State Transportation Agency – CalSTA – in July 2023 announced a grant of $158 million from the port and Freight Infrastructure Program to help fund the Pier B project as an important part of the state’s cargo movement strategy.

The federal government previously awarded almost $105 million to the project. To date, the port has secured more than $640 million in grant funding for Pier B.

“Reliable and efficient transportation of goods is crucial for keeping our economy thriving while protecting the air we breathe,” said US Senator, Alex Padilla.

“The Port of Long Beach is a leading international hub for transporting major cargo, and this project will slash truck emissions while supporting economic growth and efficiency.

“Thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we are strengthening our supply chain while creating jobs and improving air quality in near-port communities across the region.”

“This Mega grant – which follows California’s $158.4 million award for the Pier B On Dock Rail project as part of a historic investment in supply chain infrastructure earlier this year – shows the power Governor Newsom’s and President Biden’s infrastructure packages can have when working together,” said California Transportation Secretary, Toks Omishakin.

Earlier this month, the Port of Long Beach will be hosting two events to provide information and gather input for the upcoming environmental review for Pier Wind.

More recently, the Port of Long Beach announced that trade has increased for the third consecutive month in November, with a total of 731,033 TEU moved.

Read the full article here.

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