$225,000 Grant Helps City Take First Steps Towards Transforming Terminal Island Freeway

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Caltrans has awarded the City of Long Beach a $225,000 environmental justice grant to begin developing a vision for transforming the Terminal Island (TI) Freeway into a local-serving road with an adjacent landscaped buffer.

“This grant presents a first step to work with the community on a plan to replace the underutilized freeway while mitigating pollution impacts to address long-standing community health concerns,” Mayor Bob Foster said.

The transformation of the TI Freeway would constitute one of the largest freeway removal projects in Southern California history, and has the potential to significantly improve the quality of life for West Long Beach residents. The grant is a first step in a multi-year process. Significant funds will be needed to design and ultimately construct any projects resulting from the visioning process.

“The transition of the TI Freeway into a local-serving road would enable better circulation between the neighborhoods and schools that are consistently exposed to visual, air quality and noise impacts,” said Councilmember James Johnson, who represents the 7th District. “The community would benefit from improved public health and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.”

The landscape buffer would separate port and industrial uses from the residential and neighborhood uses, between Pacific Coast Highway and West Willow Street.

For decades, the Terminal Island (TI) Freeway in West Long Beach has been a conduit for the nation’s cargo, carrying trucks loaded with goods from the Port of Long Beach on their way to distribution yards and the rest of the United States. This traffic had an impact on the community’s health.

But now, reductions in truck trips on the TI Freeway provide the opportunity to realign truck routes further away from West Long Beach to the Alameda Corridor railroad expressline.

A series of public workshops and meetings will be scheduled to solicit input and help identify a comprehensive vision for the re-purposing of the TI Freeway.

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