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."
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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.