The Port of Long Beach this year will progress in the development of four key infrastructure projects that will prepare the port to accommodate cargo volumes that are approaching pre-recession levels.
In his state of the port address to local business leaders, Executive Director Richard Steinke said Long Beach in 2010 came roaring back from the 2008-09 global trade recession. The port last year increased its container volume by 1.2 million TEUs, which was the biggest one-year increase ever.
Containerized imports increased 23 percent, exports were up 15 percent, and total container volume including empties was up almost 25 percent from 2009.
Steinke said this rapid growth, and projections for continued growth in the port's centennial year of 2011, indicate Long Beach must continue to develop the marine terminal and bridge infrastructure projects that will be needed to accommodate cargo volumes that will approach the port's peak cargo year of 2007 well before mid-decade.
Long Beach is scheduled to spend $4 billion in the coming decade on projects such as replacement of the Gerald Desmond Bridge, enlarging the Pier G and Middle Harbor container terminals and constructing a new container terminal at Pier S.
Funding was approved last year for a $950 million project to replace the aging Gerald Desmond Bridge. An estimated 15 percent of all containers entering the U.S. transit the bridge. Steinke said Long Beach will begin to award construction contracts this year, with completion scheduled for 2016.
The $850 million Pier G redevelopment project will include filling in a slip and expanding the on-dock rail yard to nearly double its capacity. Operated by International Transportation Service, Pier G is one of the original container facilities in Long Beach.
Long Beach last week received bids on the early phases of the $1 billion Middle Harbor redevelopment project. The terminal's container-handling capacity will double when the port combines two older facilities into one large, efficient container terminal.
Environmental measures such as operating vessels at berth from shore-side electrical power will result in a 50 percent reduction in air pollution.
The port will soon release the draft environmental impact report for construction of a new container terminal at Pier S. The $650 million project on the site of a former oil field will include an on-dock rail yard and the latest environmental mitigation designs.
Every container terminal in Long Beach by 2014 will have the capability of operating vessels at berth from shore-side electrical power. Cold-ironing, the port's clean-truck plan and other environmental measures affecting rail and tug operations and cargo-handling equipment will result in a 45 percent reduction in air pollution from port operations over a five-year period.
-- Contact Bill Mongelluzzo at firstname.lastname@example.org.