The Port of Long Beach in California, US, has completed a $93m rail project aimed at improving efficiency and sustainability of its cargo movement.
Construction on the the Green Port Gateway project began at the end of 2012, realigning a critical rail pathway to relieve a bottleneck to allow port terminals to increase their use of on-dock rail.
The upgrade, funded in part with state and federal transportation, decreases truck traffic and air pollution, as well as serves the Port’s south-east terminals, including the new Middle Harbor terminal.
As part of the project, almost six miles of new track was laid and the work involved adding a third rail line under Ocean Boulevard, along with new retaining walls, utility line modifications and roadway improvements.
The port officials said, each on-dock rail train will reduce as many as 750 truck trips from regional roadways.
Port of Long Beach President of the Board of Harbor Commissioners Lori Ann Guzmán said: "The Green Port Gateway shows the Port of Long Beach’s commitment to moving trade in an environmentally responsible way."
For the project, the California State Transportation Agency, California Transportation Commission and CalTrans have provided $23.1m from the state’s Proposition 1B Trade Corridor Improvement Fund.
The US Department of Transportation and the Maritime Administration offered $17m from the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery III programme (TIGER).
Over the next decade, the port plans $1bn in rail projects as part of a broader modernisation programme to strengthen its competitiveness and reduce port-related impacts to the environment.
Port of Long Beach CEO Jon Slangerup said: "This project will enable us to reach our goal of moving 35% of containerised cargo via on-dock rail this decade.
"It will also support our long-range ambition to eventually move 50% of our goods directly from terminals by train."
Image: The Green Port Gateway project realigned a major rail pathway to relieve a bottleneck, allowing port terminals to increase their use of on-dock rail. Photo: courtesy of Port of Long Beach.