Mayor Villaraigosa Calls Port of LA’s First Stimulus Grant a Down Payment on Infrastructure Projects Needed to Keep Cargo Moving and Angelenos Working

SAN PEDRO, Calif. — Sept. 24, 2009 — Capitalizing on a $21 million Federal stimulus grant which will create more than 250 local construction jobs over the next year, The Port of Los Angeles announced today that the project bid has been posted for the construction of roadway improvements along a 1.3-mile segment of Harry Bridges Boulevard in Wilmington.

This is the first Federal stimulus grant awarded to the Port of Los Angeles through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and the largest grant awarded to any project in Los Angeles and Ventura counties from the approximately $340 million transportation fund awarded by formula to local governments. The Port has been pursuing more than $300 million in Federal stimulus funds for a variety of infrastructure improvements and emission reduction initiatives.

“The Port of LA is the number one trade gateway in the United States and I commend the Obama Administration for recognizing the need to invest in this gateway, create jobs and improve public infrastructure,” Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said.  “The Federal funds are a down payment on infrastructure improvements at the Port that will help to stimulate the region’s economy and keep America’s freight moving.”

The project is designed to ease traffic congestion on the Port’s northwest perimeter, improve access to the TraPac container terminal and enhance public safety by improving the flow of commercial and passenger vehicle traffic.  The improvements include construction of curbs, gutters, sidewalks and a storm drain system, installation of street lights, landscaping, traffic striping and signage, as well as the relocation of utility lines underground.  The project also includes the addition of a 24-inch reclaimed water line for the irrigation of landscaped areas of the LA Waterfront.

“This is the largest stimulus grant for a transportation project in Los Angeles County, and we are pleased to move forward with the Harry Bridges Boulevard improvements,” added Port Executive Director Geraldine Knatz, Ph.D.  ”Harry Bridges and other projects like it will benefit the Port and our neighbor communities for many years to come while producing good jobs at a time when they are needed most.”

The $21.14 million grant and a separate Federal grant of $6.5 million, will cover the cost for construction of the Harry Bridges improvements. Separately, The Port has already dedicated $2.5 million for planning and design of the project.

Harry Bridges Boulevard is a National Highway Intermodal Connector, a designation bestowed by the Federal Government. The roadway will remain two lanes each way, but following construction of the planned improvements, which will bring it up to major highway standards, Harry Bridges Boulevard could be expanded to three lanes in each direction based on future capacity needs.

The bid period will continue through the end of October, with the award of a construction bid by the Harbor Commission approximately six weeks later. Construction on the 18-month project is expected to begin in February 2010.

Bid documents are available on the Port of Los Angeles website, or by calling the Port’s Construction Division at 310-732-3522.
The Port of Los Angeles, also known as “America’s Port,” has a strong commitment to developing innovative strategic and sustainable operations that benefit the economy and the quality of life for the region and the nation it serves. A recipient of numerous environmental awards, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's 2007 Clean Air Excellence Award, the Port of Los Angeles is committed to innovating cleaner, greener ways of doing business. As the leading seaport in North America in terms of shipping container volume and cargo value, the Port generates 919,000 regional jobs and $39.1 billion in annual wages and tax revenues. A proprietary department of the City of Los Angeles, the Port is self-supporting and does not receive taxpayer dollars. The Port of Los Angeles - A cleaner port. A brighter future.