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Friday, April 05, 2013    

Long Beach harbor commission supports city's appeal of proposed BNSF intermodal facility


The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners on Monday voted unanimously in favor of supporting the city of Long Beach's appeal of BNSF Railway Co.'s proposed Southern California International Gateway project, which recently was approved by the Port of Los Angeles.

The Class I plans to build a 153-acre intermodal facility near West Long Beach, Calif., alongside the Terminal Island Freeway on land owned by the L.A. port. The facility would serve on-dock rail facilities at both the L.A. and Long Beach ports.

"Improvement of rail facilities is critical to the economic development of this port, and improved rail facilities are what we need in order to reduce emissions. [But] everyone can do better on this project than has been done so far," said Susan Anderson Wise, the harbor commission's president, in a press release.

The commission directed Long Beach port staff to work with city officials to determine solutions to the city's concerns, such as that the facility, as now designed, does not sufficiently reduce its impact on West Long Beach or appropriately address mitigation measures to protect residents and businesses in the immediate area. The Los Angeles City Council will consider whether to approve the project in the coming weeks.

"L.A. needs to treat Long Beach like a neighbor, not just dump the project over here without mitigation and changes," said Commissioner Nick Sramek.

Meanwhile, the Port of Los Angeles on Wednesday marked the completion of its 10-year, $370 million main channel deepening project.

Deepening the 45-foot-deep main, west basin and east basin channels to 53 feet will enable the port to accommodate larger ships.

"Completion of this project means that the port will remain competitive globally, and continue to be a strong source for jobs and regional revenue growth for years to come," said Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

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