ABC 7: Sen. Padilla says new infrastructure bill will improve supply chain, help LA and Long Beach ports

By Carlos Granda

There is still a huge backlog at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. It’s an ongoing problem that some say is partly to blame for supply chain issues and a jump in inflation.

“The shipping backlogs have also created ripple effects for businesses, for consumers and for local communities,” Sen. Alex Padilla said Friday during a visit to the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

He said the new infrastructure bill will benefit the ports and improve the supply chain. California is expected to get more than $25 billion for highway and road repairs and other improvements.

“We’re talking about ensuring that we have infrastructure around bridges and roads in supporting terminals, and all of this is really critical,” Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia.

Starting Tuesday, ships coming into the ports will have to wait a lot further offshore. Now they can wait about 20 miles out, but to improve air quality and safety in the area, they will have to anchor 150 miles from the coast.

Padilla admits this infrastructure spending will not help the short-term problem.

“That’s for the future. As much as we can try to accelerate that funding, it’ll have an impact starting next year, but that’s not here and now,” Padilla said. “The big point of today is to see all of us collaborating with one another.”

The infrastructure bill will be signed into law on Monday. Despite all these changes, some feel the shortages will last well into next year.

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