The Port of Los Angeles is moving forward with its Terminal Island Railyard Enhancement Project to optimize on-dock rail operations and improve the flow of cargo throughout the harbour complex.
The Harbor Commission formally approved the project’s Final Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration in early October, concluding the environmental review process. The port is currently preparing the final design, with the construction contract award expected by June 2020 and project completion by early 2022.
The port received a US$21.6 million grant from the California Transportation Commission under the Road Repair and Accountability Act’s Trade Corridor Enhancement Program in May 2018 for the US$34 million project, and will self-fund the remaining US$12.4 million.
“Maximizing our rail network is vital to operating America’s cleanest, most competitive seaport,” said Jaime Lee, president of the Los Angeles Harbor Commission. “The economic and environmental benefits extend to our customers, neighbours, regional transportation system and our nation. We appreciate the US$21 million grant from the Trade Corridor Enhancement Program that will fund a significant portion of this project.”
According to the port, the project will add more than 31,000 linear feet of track to an existing intermodal rail storage yard on Terminal Island, expanding the number of storage tracks from six to 11. The project will increase capacity and use of the Pier 400 on-dock railyard by up to 525,000 TEUs annually, which represents approximately 10% more capacity for the Port of Los Angeles. The enhancement will also reduce truck trips, tailpipe emissions and congestion on local streets and freeways, thereby improving roadway safety.
“Expanding this railyard creates a ripple effect of intermodal efficiencies within the Port of Los Angeles and throughout the entire San Pedro Bay port complex,” said Gene Seroka, executive director of the Port of Los Angeles. “It is a key element of regional and state transportation plans to improve safety and traffic conditions along some of our nation’s most crowded commuter and freight corridors.”
As a result of increasing on-dock capacity at Pier 400, the project will free up capacity at another major storage and staging yard located on Terminal Island, thus improving overall rail operations throughout the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. The project is a critical link between the San Pedro Bay port complex and the Alameda Corridor, which carries about 11% of all waterborne containers entering and exiting the United States.
The Port of Los Angeles also received a grant for the Alameda Corridor Southern Terminus Gap Closure project, which will add a double-track segment between the on-dock railyards serving the TraPac and West Basin container terminals, creating a safer, more direct connection to the Alameda Corridor.
Both rail projects support California’s larger sustainable freight and mobility goals. They also meet federal and state grant requirements for major transportation projects to improve air quality, spur job growth, ease congestion and benefit disadvantaged and low-income communities, according to the Port of Los Angeles.