Ocean cargo: Port of Los Angeles gets “Tiger” grant to expand rail project
October 21, 2010 - LM Editorial
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, thereby making more efficient and competitive, said spokesmen.
William J. Rennicke, a partner in Oliver Wyman’s corporate finance practice told LM that such a development would be welcomed by regional shippers.
“One of the most troubling obstacles to the ability of rail to keep up with demand is the growth of local resistance to railroad expansion both in the form of increase frequency on a line or the building of new facilities,” he said.
Port Executive Director Geraldine Knatz, the port’s executive director, noted that it represents a broader strategy:
“I’m thankful that our federal government has recognized the national importance of our port by awarding this funding” she said in a statement.
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.