The Port of Long Beach’s planned Pier B on-dock rail support facility has secured approval from the US Maritime Administration (MARAD).

The final environmental impact statement (EIS) and record of decision has been issued by MARAD for the facility, which is being developed to increase cargo flow by rail.

Situated southwest of Anaheim Street and the 710 Freeway, the proposed $1.5bn facility will be a focal point of the Port of Long Beach’s rail improvement programme.

The facility will help transfer more cargo to “on-dock rail,” where containers are lifted directly to and from marine terminals by rail. It will help significantly decrease trips by trucks across the region.

Port of Long Beach executive director Mario Cordero said: “Simply put, the Pier B On-Dock Rail Support Facility will move cargo faster and with fewer environmental impacts.

“We thank MARAD for its work completing the EIS, which allows us to receive federal funding for a facility that will benefit the whole country.”

Last year in December, the US Department of Transportation (DOT) approved $52.3m for the construction of the facility.

Anticipated to complete in 2025, the phase one construction will enable doubling of the capacity of the existing Pier B rail yard.

The project is expected to be fully complete in 2032.

Long Beach Harbour Commission president Steven Neal said: “The Port of Long Beach is a gateway for $200bn in job-generating trade each year.

“This project will help cargo move more efficiently, and it’s vital to maintaining our competitiveness and meeting our environmental goals.”

In 2018, the Port of Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners approved plans for the development of the Pier B on-dock rail support facility.