The US Maritime Administration has issued a final environmental impact statement (EIS) and record of decision, approving the Port of Long Beach’s planned Pier B on-dock rail support facility, a project designed to enhance the flow of cargo by rail.
The planned $1.5bn facility is the centrepiece of the port’s rail improvement program. It will shift more cargo to on-dock rail, significantly reducing trips by trucks throughout the region. According to a POLB video, each full train will eliminate up to 750 truck trips to the port.
Currently, 28% of POLB cargo is handled by on-dock rail. The port is looking to increase that to 35%, and needs to reconfigure the Pier B rail yard to allow for longer trains.
“Simply put, the Pier B on-dock rail support facility will move cargo faster and with fewer environmental impacts,” said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero, who also noted that the EIS allows the port to receive federal funding for the facility.
Long Beach Harbor Commission President Steven Neal added that the project will help the port meet its environmental goals.
Phase 1 construction, expected to be completed in 2025, will double the capacity of the existing Pier B rail yard. The project is scheduled for full completion in 2032.