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CalSTA announces $1.5 billion for rail bridges and ports

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(The Center Square) – An estimated $1.5 billion to improve efficiency and build a more reliant supply chain for the movement of goods throughout the state’s local and global trade gateways, has been apportioned by California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA).

The fund assigned $1.2 billion to 15 port/rail projects and $350 million to 13 transit/rail bridge projects.

At the award event at the Port of Long Beach on July 6, Transportation Secretary Toks Omishakin identified how the projects awarded qualified for the funding. “CalSTA’s ‘Core Four’ priorities are safety, climate action, equity and economic prosperity, and the strategic investments announced today shine in all those areas,” he said.

The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach and major trade centers across the state will employ projects that increase the capacity to move goods. Other high-priority projects to build rail bridges will see improvements in safety and time at rail crossings, as freight trains at street-level are eliminated.

“This investment in critical Port of Los Angeles projects, along with supporting regional projects, will accelerate our efforts to boost competitiveness, create jobs and enhance decarbonization efforts,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka.

Almost 40% of the Port and Freight Infrastructure Program awards are in zero-emission projects which bolsters a commitment made in March between California and Japan to cut planet-warming pollution at seaports and establish green shipping corridors.

One of three major LA Ports projects of the Port and Freight Infrastructure Program (PFIP) is at the Port of Los Angeles-Port of Long Beach. The Maritime Support Facility (MSF) Improvement and Expansion Project will reduce truck-miles-traveled inside container terminals by expanding the facility from 30 acres of container storage to 70 acres of storage at all 12 container terminals. This is expected to reduce truck-miles-traveled inside container terminals and the associated emissions to the adjacent communities of Wilmington and San Pedro.

The project will “reduce cargo delays, which in turn aids in maintaining and accommodating expected container volume growth,” a summary by CalSTA states. These ports account for 35% of all water borne containers entering and exiting the US.

The project is expected to be completed by April 2026.

“This game-changing grant will make a tremendous difference in our efforts to bring more business and jobs to the harbor, enhance the efficiency of cargo movement and accelerate the Port of Long Beach’s ongoing transformation to zero-emission operations,” said Port of Long Beach CEO Mario Cordero.

The Broadway Grade Separation rail project is the top priority of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) Grade Separation Fund Priority List. This project entails replacing the existing Broadway Station with a new station and reconfiguring the platforms, which will eliminate the need for trains to be held off while another train is boarding at the station.

The project will build a rail bridge at Broadway in the City of Burlingame (eliminating congestion and improving safety) ,and enhance access and connectivity for pedestrians and bicyclists by providing sidewalks and bike access along reconstructed portions of Broadway, California Drive, and Carolan Avenue. It will also provide better east-west connectivity and connect to existing north-south, and east-west bike facilities.

The project is anticipated to be finished by 2028.

“These investments – unprecedented in scope and scale – will modernize our ports, reduce pollution, eliminate bottlenecks and create a more dynamic distribution network,” Newsom said. “No other state has a supply chain as critical to the national and global economy as California.”

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