Tiger II Funding Will Create Almost 2,000 Jobs, Maximize Rail, Reduce Pollution

SAN PEDRO, Calif. — October 19, 2010 — The Port of Los Angeles has been awarded $16 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Infrastructure Investment grant program, known as “TIGER II,” for its West Basin Railyard project. The Port, along with 41 other capital construction projects and 33 planning projects in 40 states, received funding from $600 million awarded nationwide.  The Port’s project will maximize use of rail at the Port, create almost 2,000 construction jobs, reduce pollution, ease congestion, enhance safety, and improve the livability of the region and sustainability and competitiveness of port operations.

“This is a significant boost for a Port project that is critical to the prosperity of the Los Angeles region,” said Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. “I am thankful for the hard work of our U.S. Senators Boxer and Feinstein, as well as the Port’s congressional delegation, including Representatives Harman, Richardson, Rohrabacher and Roybal-Allard – this is the kind of intergovernmental partnership that can get our economy back on track.” 

"Our Port needs to stay competitive, and this funding will help," said Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn, whose district includes the Port.  "This project is of national importance, since it will increase the Port’s on-dock rail capacity and move goods to the rest of the country more efficiently; but it’s also a locally significant project, by taking trucks off the road and creating close to 2,000 local jobs."

Port Executive Director Geraldine Knatz, Ph.D., added, “This is an essential element of our rail strategy, and I’m thankful that our federal government has recognized the national importance of our Port by awarding this funding.  This investment will enhance the region’s and nation’s economic competitiveness while increasing safety and sustainability in and around the Port.”   

The TIGER II funding will help construct an intermodal railyard connecting the Port of Los Angeles on-dock railyards with the Alameda Corridor. The project includes new railyard for short-line railroad serving Union Pacific (UP), Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF), and the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. The project includes staging and storage tracks for adjacent on-dock railyards for the two greenest container terminals in the nation, China Shipping/West Basin Container Terminal and Trans Pacific Container Service Corp. (TraPac), and a short-line railroad that switches for the UP, BNSF Railway and other terminals.  

The project also includes the removal of two at-grade rail-highway crossings. The West Basin Railyard functions as a critical link between the ports and the Alameda Corridor, which carries about 15 percent of all waterborne containers entering or leaving the United States. The railyard provides a staging and railcar storage area for trains entering from or departing to the Alameda Corridor.  

Total cost of the project is estimated at approximately $125 million. In addition to the TIGER II funding, the Port has secured other state and local funds and will contribute about $50 million of its own capital funds. Construction is expected to start in the first quarter of 2011 and be completed toward the end of 2013. Project benefits include:

  • Maximizing use of on-dock rail; shifts container transport from trucks to on-dock rail.
  • Reduction of 2,300 daily truck trips by increased use of on-dock rail, 81,000 truck miles traveled and 2,370 vehicle-hours traveled.
  • Reduction of pollutants and greenhouse gases.
  • Improvement of safety via truck trip reductions on the 710 freeway, which has the highest accident rate in California, and by removal of two at-grade rail-roadway crossings that are impediments between a residential community and the waterfront.
  • Creation of 1,987 construction jobs.

TIGER II grants were awarded to projects that have a significant impact on the nation, a region or metropolitan area.  The projects chosen demonstrate their ability to contribute to the long-term economic competitiveness of the nation, improve the condition of existing transportation facilities and systems, increase energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve the safety of U.S. transportation facilities and/or enhance the quality of living and working environments of communities through increased transportation choices and connections.  The Department also gave priority to projects that are expected to create and preserve jobs quickly and stimulate rapid increases in economic activity.

The Port of Los Angeles is America’s premier port and has a strong commitment to developing innovative strategic and sustainable operations that benefit the economy as well as the quality of life for the region and the nation it serves.  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.