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Port of Long Beach officials yesterday marked the completion of a $93 million rail project aimed at improving efficiency and sustainability of cargo movement.Known as the "Green Port Gateway" project, the plan realigned a critical rail pathway to relieve a bottleneck, which will allow port terminals to increase their use of on-dock rail, port officials said in a press release.The project called for laying almost six miles of new track, as well as adding a third rail line under Ocean Boulevard. Additionally, crews built new retaining walls and performed utility line modifications and roadway improvements.Each on-dock train will eliminate as many as 750 truck trips from regional roadways, port officials said."This project will enable us to reach our goal of moving 35 percent of containerized cargo via on-dock rail this decade," said Port of Long Beach Chief Executive Officer Jon Slangerup. "It will also support our long-range ambition to eventually move 50 percent of our goods directly from terminals by train."The California State Transportation Agency, the California Transportation Commission and the California Department of Transportation provided $23.1 million from the state's Proposition 1B Trade Corridor Improvement Fund to help pay for the project. The U.S. Department of Transportation and the Maritime Administration assisted with $17 million from the Transportation Investment Generating Economy Recovery (TIGER) III program.The port began construction of the project in late 2012.
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