$1.5 Billion in State Funding Slated for California Port Improvements

In July 2023, Governor Newsom announced that $1.5 billion in state funding will go toward upgrading California port infrastructure. These upgrades will come in a sweeping overhaul geared toward sustainability and increased efficiency. Of that funding, almost $600 million will go toward the Port of Long Beach and Port of Los Angeles.

The ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles reign as the two busiest ports in the Western Hemisphere, having handled 29% of all containerized international waterborne trade in the United States in 2022 alone. But after longtime pollution concerns have swirled around these two critical hubs, both ports have increasingly espoused climate-friendly policies, as well as the need for increased supply chain efficiency.

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

Let’s explore the implications of this funding, and what it will likely go toward in these major California ports.

Port of Long Beach Projects

A total of $350 million has been allocated to upgrades at the Port of Long Beach. There are a number of projects underway at Long Beach, but two stand out as being the largest that this funding will support.

A key project in development at the Port of Long Beach is the Pier B On-Dock Rail Support facility, a state-of-the-art on-dock rail system at the port. This will streamline the flow of goods at Long Beach and reduce traffic congestion, while also signaling a shift away from fossil fuel-emitting trucks at the port. 

The Port of Long Beach is already seeing progress toward its zero-emissions goal, as established by the 2017 Clean Air Action Plan. The port now stands to ramp up its widespread investments in clean-air technology and infrastructure, as well as to continue implementing stricter emissions policies for trucks and other greenhouse gas-emitting vehicles.

Port of Los Angeles Projects

$233 million of this state funding is allocated to projects at the Port of Los Angeles. Here are some of the key initiatives funded:

The Maritime Support Facility (MSF) and Expansion Project — MSF aims to reduce both truck-miles-traveled inside container terminals and the emissions impacting nearby communities. This funding will help expand the facility acreage from 30 to 71 acres, and improve sewage, power, water supply, utilities, and more.

The Rail Mainline/Wilmington Community & Waterfront Pedestrian Grade Separation Bridge — This project aims to build a pedestrian bridge connecting the Wilmington community to the Port of Los Angeles Wilmington Waterfront area. The bridge will go over the train tracks that currently separate the waterfront from the neighborhood. This initiative aims to reduce the risk of traffic accidents and encourage more walking and cycling instead of vehicle use.

State Route 47/Seaside Avenue and Navy Way Interchange Improvements — This initiative will modify traffic operations at this intersection to improve traffic safety and reduce collisions.

Good News for the Ports and Surrounding Communities

These landmark grants are being hailed as good news for port workers, the general public, and companies that move their freight through the ports. The projects funded by the grants are expected to have a number of positive environmental, economic, and supply chain impacts.

The projects at the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles are expected to improve port efficiency and resiliency (which will likely ripple throughout California’s entire supply chain), and create an estimated 20,000 jobs, bolstering area economic growth. Efficiency improvements may also help prevent a recurrence of the severe port congestion that Los Angeles and Long Beach saw throughout much of the pandemic.

These initiatives will also go a long way toward achieving state zero-emissions goals and reducing the impact of pollution on the communities near the ports.

Looking for a transportation and logistics partner at the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles? GlobeCon has over 35 years of experience with drayage, trucking, and warehousing.

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