CALIFORNIA PORTS 2008 - Port of Los Angeles’s mantra:

By: | at 08:00 PM | Channel(s): Ports & Terminals  

By Paul Scott Abbott, AJOTThe philosophy at North America’s busiest containerport, the Port of Los Angeles, can be summed up in two words – “growing green.”
Sometimes, putting this mantra into practice can be controversial, as with the landmark Clean Truck Programs initiative, but the ability to satisfy the dual goals of moving more cargo while reducing pollutant levels is paramount to the continuing success of “America’s Port,” as Los Angeles was dubbed this year in a National Geographic Channel series of that name.
“We know the rest of the country may be thinking, ‘What are those crazy Californians doing?’” Theresa Adams Lopez, the Port of Los Angeles’ director of community relations, said of the implementation of an eco-focused growth model. “But I think we all realize it has to be done and that it’s coming for everyone else, too. We’re just first.
“Not being afraid to go against the old way of doing things – to do it better – is a real hallmark of this current administration, with the vision and guidance of [Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners President] Commissioner [S. David] Freeman and [Port of Los Angeles Executive Director] Geraldine [Knatz],” Lopez added.
Port of Los Angeles container terminals already annually handle more than 8 million 20-foot-equivalent units of cargo, and, for on- and off-port infrastructure to be enhanced to move greater volumes, environmental considerations must be put to the fore.
Over the past decade or so, the Port of Los Angeles has added 800 acres to its facilities, bringing its total footprint to 7,500 acres, with 270 berths, served by 76 cranes, in 25 cargo terminals along 43 miles of shoreline.
The $200 million-plus project to deepen the port’s main channel to a controlled depth of 53 feet, from its present 45 feet, is on target for completion at all container berths by 2010 and bodes to further enable the port to accommodate the largest of containerships.
Meanwhile, the port and its terminal-operating tenants seek to make the most out of port acreage, including through employing the PierPass off-peak-hours gate program and through installation of advanced computer software and hardware technologies.
Port of Los Angeles engineers currently have a mind-boggling total of some 300 intertwined projects at some stage of development or consideration.
These projects include $100 million in improvements at the port’s West Basin area, set for a late 2008 construction start, to add about 1,900 feet of 110-foot-gauge container wharf along 53-foot water depth at berths 145 through 147. The project is part of a comprehensive plan to ensure that all container berths are equipped to benefit from the deeper channel.
The port’s immediate plans also include a major non-containerized cargo project, that being the development of a liquid bulk terminal at Pier 400. That project, on which construction is scheduled to begin in 2009, at a cost of about $60 million, looks to create a terminal for handling crude oil supertankers.
Slated for completion in 2009 is a new $48 million, 50,000-square-foot Los Angeles Port Police headquarters building, adjacent to the port’s administration building in San Pedro.
Several projects aim to improve the Port of Los Angeles’ intermodal links, including, in the South Wilmington area, the $50 million grade separation from vehicular traffic of a rail line connecting to the Alameda Corridor, with a mid-2010 construction start slated.
Other key future roadway projects include $30 million in improvements in the area of John S. Gibson Boulevard and Interstate 110, targeted for a 2011 construction start, and $40 million in improvements in the area of C Street and Interstate 110, slated for a 2012 construction start. Both these projects aim to improve traffic flow and freeway access in the port area.
On the rail side, a 2010 construction start is planned for a $120 million project at the Berth 200 rail yard, calling for relocation of an existing boxcar facility and expansion of intermodal cargo st

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For more than a quarter of a century, Paul Scott Abbott has been writing and shooting images for the American Journal of Transportation, applying four decades of experience as an award-winning journalist. A graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, with a master’s magna cum laude from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Abbott has served as president of chapters of the Propeller Club of the United States, Florida Public Relations Association and Society of Professional Journalists. Abbott honed his skills on several daily newspapers, including [em]The Cincinnati Enquirer, The Richmond (Va.) News Leader, Albuquerque Journal and (South Florida) Sun-Sentinel, and was editor and publisher of The County Line, a weekly newspaper he founded in suburban Richmond, Va.[/em] A native Chicagoan, he is a member of American Mensa and an ever-optimistic fan of the Chicago Cubs.