Federal-state partnership aims to accelerate port infrastructure projects in California

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Diving brief:

  • Federal and state transportation agencies are teaming up to fast-track and find “potentially billions in funding” for projects for California ports and other infrastructure needed to help ease congestion, according to a press release from the State.
  • The Emerging Projects Agreement between the U.S. Department of Transportation and the California State Transportation Agency will help the state accelerate “a web of related projects,” rather than using a piecemeal approach, the statement said. The program aims to support several projects that will help the state grow the economy, protect the environment, and modernize its supply chain processes.
  • “This federal-state partnership will ensure the creation of local infrastructure projects aimed at improving the movement of goods between the San Pedro Bay port complex and the distribution centers of the Inland Empire,” said the executive director of the port of Long Beach, Mario Cordero, in a press release.

The Emerging Projects Agreement targets 8 types of projects

  1. Port specific upgrades
  2. Capacity extensions for rail freight
  3. Develop inland port facilities to increase warehouse storage
  4. Electrification of railway stations and trucks
  5. Highway improvements to reduce truck travel times
  6. Separate level crossings to reduce the number of rail-street intersections and improve safety and efficiency
  7. Land ports of entry to develop trade capacity and cross-border trade
  8. Other Eligible Critically Important Projects Identified by the California State Transportation Agency

Overview of the dive:

Southern California ports have become a critical bottleneck in the U.S. supply chain as a flood of imports ran into a lack of capacity and equipment.

The public and private sectors are tackling the problem in multiple ways. The Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach are moving to 24/7 operations. California Governor Gavin Newsom has asked state agencies to work on short-term and long-term solutions to supply chain issues. And Union Pacific has extended hours and capacity to help ease traffic congestion.

Future supply chain resilience must also be part of the equation, as current infrastructure “is clearly not equipped for today’s demand”, said ports envoy John Porcari in October. The goal of the Emerging Projects Agreement is to initiate projects that will help facilitate the movement of imports and exports in the state and increase resilience.

“Having our federal and state transportation agencies working in unison to help fund infrastructure is exactly what we need,” Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka said in a statement. “We have projects that need funding to reduce loading delays, improve efficiency, reduce emissions, and improve the safety of shoreline workers and motorists throughout the region.”

Projects eligible under the agreement “should be considered based on their potential to build supply chain resilience,” the statement said. The DOT’s Build America office will help project developers explore funding opportunities through federal lending through the Transportation Infrastructure Funding and Innovation Act and Rehabilitation and Restoration Funding Programs. improvement of the railways.

In addition to accelerating and helping fund California’s infrastructure upgrades, the partnership “will also serve as a model for other states,” Porcari said in a statement.

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