FMC Commissioner William Doyle Visits Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach on March 10 & 11: Surveys Port and Infrastructure Projects - Federal Maritime Commission
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FMC Commissioner William Doyle Visits Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach on March 10 & 11: Surveys Port and Infrastructure Projects

March 14, 2014

Contact: David Tubman, Counsel to Commissioner Doyle

I would like to thank the officials and staff from the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach for their hospitality. The projects underway at the ports are magnificent in scope. There are tens of thousands of jobs supported by the projects. The ports encompass a worldwide network of economic activity supported by federal, state, and local funding. Amazingly, with all the construction going on, the ports have managed to still load and unload ships – providing world class, uninterrupted service.

I appreciate the time taken to brief me on the projects by Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners Susan Anderson Wise and Rich Dines, and David Arian, Vice President of the Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners.

These are the projects surveyed:

Port of Los Angeles

John S. Gibson Blvd. / I-110 FWY Access Ramp Improvement & SR 47 / I-110 Northbound Connector Widening Project.

This project is designed to alleviate congestion and allow a freer flow of commerce in and out of the Port of Los Angeles. It will eliminate weaving between the slow-moving, on-ramp traffic from San Pedro and the fast-moving bridge traffic from Long Beach, to improve the connection between the SR-47 and I-110 Freeway. The connector would be expanded from one lane to two lanes, extend the additional northbound through lane, modify ramps and make overall improvements to the boulevard. The work includes, widening of two bridges, railroad realignment, sound wall construction, and other site improvements. This project is expected to be completed in June 2016 and is budgeted for $26,949,500.

Interstate 110/ C Street Interchange

This project is designed to allow a smoother and more organized free flow of truck and automobile traffic in and out of the port. The project will improve the flow of traffic from the I-110 Freeway ramps at C Street by consolidating two closely-spaced intersections and facilitating heavy right-turn volumes with free-flowing turn lanes. It consists of combining the existing intersections at C Street and Figueroa Street into one intersection. It would permanently close the C Street access at Figueroa Street and provide a direct off-ramp from the highway onto the eastbound Harry Bridges Boulevard. It would also widen the Union Oil Undercrossing. This project is expected to be completed in January 2016 and is budgeted for $21,748,950.

Rear Berths 136-139 Terminal Building and Main Gate

The scope of this project includes the construction of port buildings and structures and overall site improvements including but not limited to running utility lines (gas, electricity, water, sewer); environmental improvements (storm drain management, re-vegetation, irrigation ); safety (fire suppression systems); and demolition and removal of old structures. This project is expected to be completed in July 2015 and is budgeted for $64,977,000.

South Wilmington Grade Separation

This grade separation project will eliminate the conflict between vehicular traffic and two existing at-grade railroad crossings. Currently, slow moving trains block all access to South Wilmington, including emergency vehicle access from fire and police departments. In addition, this grade separation will eliminate truck queues on surrounding streets and nearby freeway off-ramps. It will provide unimpeded grade-separated automobile access to the South Wilmington area (which includes free flow to/from places like TraPac Container Terminal, Wilmington Liquid Bulk, Pasha Terminal, Shell Oil Co., Borax Co., GATX, Union Oil, Banning’s Landing Community Center and Wilmington Waterfront Park).

The scope of the project includes construction of a grade separation structure linking Harry Bridges Blvd., Pier A Street and Fries Avenue with a new entrance to TraPac Terminal. The project will be built over the Pier A Street Rail Yard Entrance track (which is frequently used for switching purposes) and over the San Pedro mainline railroad track (which is utilized several times a day). This project is scheduled to be completed in April 2015 and is budgeted for $50,643,125.

Berths 144-145 Backland Improvements – Phase 1C

This project will provide improvements to 21 acres of backland, including installation of four 4 automated stacking blocks (2 cranes per block), 2 mini automated stacking blocks, 9,200 LF of new rail on concrete ties and ballast, storm drain management (including sand filters) and electrical and communications infrastructure. This project is expected to be completed this year (April 2014) and is budgeted for $38,399,540.

Berths 142-143 Backland Improvements – Phases 2-4

This project is part of the overall container terminal development program at the TraPac Terminal spanning 72 acres of backland. The project consists of automated stacking crane infrastructure, 15 automated stacking blocks (2 cranes per block), 32,000 LF of new rail on concrete ties and ballast, storm drain management (including sand filters), electrical and communications infrastructure, and a 4,500 SF construction and maintenance building. This terminal will include new crane rails, concrete and pavement and transtainer runways for the cranes. The project is expected to be completed in January 2017 and is budgeted for $105,675,310.

Berths 142-147 ICTF

This project is developing an intermodal container transfer facility. The project includes demolishing the existing Pier A Rail Yard. The project includes a railroad track with 8 working tracks and 2 lead tracks ( approximately 27,500 track feet on concrete ties), 123’ gauge RMG Crane Rail, Train-In-Motion blue/red flag system, an audible and visible warning system, and buildings consisting of a guard booth, compressed air enclosure, and maintenance trailers. This project is expected to be completed in April 2016 and is budgeted for $61,375,000.

Berth 200 Rail Yard and Track Connections Project

The project will be built in two phases. The first phase includes construction of the new yard, support tracks for container terminals, double-track connections to the Alameda Corridor and national rail network, and access road improvements. The new yard is expected to be completed in August 2014 and it is budgeted for $89,990,801. The second phase involves final rail network connections and vehicle overpasses to eliminate grade crossings and it is expected to be completed in October 2014 and it is budgeted for $18,310,275.

The Berth 200 Rail Yard project will provide a railroad switching and classification yard for Union Pacific, Burlington Northern Santa Fe and Pacific Harbor Line (which replace the existing Pier A Rail Yard). The Connections project will provide the railroad track tie-in connection to the Berth 200 Rail Yard Project. It is anticipated that the new yard will eliminate 2,300 daily truck trips from nearby freeways.

Port of Long Beach

Gerald Desmond Bridge Project

The Gerald Desmond Bridge has been designated as a National Highway System Intermodal Connector Route and part of the Federal Strategic Highway Network. The new bridge will be built with a cable-stayed design and will be high enough to accommodate the passage of larger vessels. It will be wider and better able to accommodate existing and future traffic volumes and include a break-down lane. This project will generate about 3,000 jobs each year.

The Port of Long Beach has introduced a new way for residents and commuters to stay up to date on the replacement project with a new LB Bridge mobile app. The mobile app offers all the latest news, information, photos and videos of the project, live cameras, and traffic information to help Long Beach area motorists navigate lane closures and detours associated with the bridge and nearby construction projects.

Middle Harbor Redevelopment Project

The construction at the Middle Harbor is well underway. It is combining two container terminals into a technologically advanced and environmentally friendly facility. The project will double capacity and support thousands of jobs— while cutting air pollution in half. It is the largest project of its kind ever undertaken by the Port of Long Beach.

The nine-year, $1.2 billion project will upgrade wharfs, water access and storage area; as well as add a greatly expanded on-dock rail yard. Project construction started in spring 2011 on Phase 1, Stage 1 of the project. Phase 1 of the construction project is renovating the existing Pier E container terminal; widening and deepening Slip 3; and filling 22 acres of Slip 1 Phase 2 improvements include connecting the Pier E terminal to the Pier F container terminal by filling an additional 40 acres; expanding the on-dock rail yard from 10,000 linear feet to 75,000; and the new terminal space will be over 300 acres in size

Alameda Corridor Pump Station/Trench (Mile Post 9.8)

We visited the pump station at about mile post 9.8. The portion we visited is an open trench with three rail lines that run through the metropolitan area without disrupting traffic.

The Alameda Corridor is a 20-mile-long rail cargo expressway linking the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles to the transcontinental rail network near downtown Los Angeles. It is a series of bridges, underpasses, overpasses and street improvements that separate freight trains from street traffic and passenger trains, facilitating a more efficient transportation network. The project’s centerpiece is the Mid-Corridor Trench, which carries freight trains in an open trench that is 10 miles long, 33 feet deep and 50 feet wide between State Route 91 in Carson and 25th Street in Los Angeles. Construction began in April 1997.

Special thanks to the staff and project contractors:

Port of Long Beach: Dr. Noel Hacegaba, Acting Deputy Executive Director and COO; John Pope, Community Relations Manager; Allison Yoh, Ph.D., Transportation Policy Specialist; Ken Uriu, Marketing Manager Trade Development; Nikolas Pecci STS, CHST, Project Safety Manager (Gerald Desmond Bridge Replacement Project; Joe Ontiveros, Senior Safety Manager (SFI, Gerald Desmond Bridge).

Port of Los Angles: Cynthia Ruiz, Deputy Executive Director External Relations; Marisela Caraballo DiRuggiero, Director of Legislative Affairs; Diana Henderson, MPA, Government Affairs; Sgt. Glenn Twardy, Traffic Enforcement, Los Angles Port Police; James Davis, P.E., Asst. Chief Harbor Engineer; Guillermo Martinez, P.E., Transportation Engineer; Christina Sar, P.E., Senior Civil Engineer; Sue Lai, P.E., Senior Transportation Engineer; Ron Groves, P.E., Senior Civil Engineer.

Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority: James Preusch, CPA, Chief Financial Officer; Manuel Hernandez, Senior Project Manager/Community Outreach