U.S. Department of Transportation Awards Port of Long Beach $17 million For Rail Project

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Port Awarded $17 million For Rail ProjectThe Port of Long Beach was awarded $17 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation to help fund a rail track improvement project that will allow for a shift of more cargo from trucks to trains.

The Green Port Gateway project, slated to begin construction in 2012, will lay 16,400 feet of new track to realign tracks and relieve a rail chokepoint at the Ocean Boulevard overcrossing near the 710 Freeway. The project is expected to create 340 full-time construction related jobs. The grant was awarded during the last round of Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) funding by the U.S. DOT.

“We are very grateful to the Department of Transportation and all who supported us in securing these funds, including Congresswoman Laura Richardson, Mayor Bob Foster, State Senator Alan Lowenthal, Assembly members Bonnie Lowenthal, and Warren Furutani, among others,” said Port Executive Director J. Christopher Lytle. “This project will not only bring jobs, which are critical during these tough economic times, but also enhance both our region’s and the nation’s long-term economic competitiveness by improving the Port’s rail system.”

The Green Port Gateway is expected to eliminate nearly 2.3 million truck trips by 2035 from local roadways by improving rail transportation in and out of the Port complex. Reduced truck trips will alleviate traffic congestion and cut air pollution.

The $66 million project is part of the larger San Pedro Bay Ports Rail Enhancement Program, which involves several inter-related projects by the Port of Long Beach, the Port of Los Angeles and the Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority.

The Port has more than $4 billion in planned projects over the next decade. For the Green Port Gateway project, $27 million has been secured from the state’s Proposition 1B Trade Corridor Improvement Fund. The $17 million in TIGER funds help bring state and federal contributions to $44 million, allowing the Port to move more quickly on this project. Construction is expected to last about a year.

Contact: John Pope, Port of Long Beach Media Relations Manager, (562) 283-7714, or john.pope@polb.com.

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