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Port of Long Beach, CA. (Photo: USDHS via wikimedia commons)

Department of Transportation Allocates $57.5 Million For Long Beach, Oakland Port Improvements

Funds to help supply-chain efficiency, transition to carbon-free energy

By Evan Symon, December 23, 2021 2:15 am

The Department of Transportation allocated $57.5 million in grants for improvements to the Ports of Long Beach and Oakland on Wednesday, becoming the latest funding earmarked for helping eliminate supply-chain backlogs.

Ports in California, facing massive backlogs in the latter half of 2021, sometimes with over 100 cargo ships waiting to be unloaded, have been enacting more and more measures in recent months. Port updates, truck weight limits exemptions, increased cargo short-term storage, increased fines for companies that don’t remove cargo containers quickly, and more measures have been put into motion in the last few months alone.

The $57.5 million in Department of Transportation funds, granted through the Port Infrastructure Development Program, was split between the ports of Oakland and Long Beach. Long Beach is to get $52.3 million to build a new train facility and rail extensions to accommodate more cargo cars to help improve supply-chain efficiency. Meanwhile, Oakland will get $5.2 million to replace an electric substation, a new fuel cell facility, a new solar array, more battery storage, and the port being connected to a local biomass-fuel generator.

Senator Dianne Feinstein (Photo: Feinstein.senate.gov)

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) praised the allocated energy and transportation improvement funds in a statement on Wednesday, noting that the improvements will help ports not be congested to this extent in the future.

“This much-needed funding will help improve port infrastructure in both Long Beach and Oakland, boosting supply-chain efficiency while also helping the ports transition to cleaner energy sources,” said Senator Feinstein on Wednesday. California’s ports are the West Coast hub for international trade, with approximately 40 percent of all U.S. container traffic entering the country through ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach alone, and billions of dollars’ worth of agricultural products exported out of the Port of Oakland every year.”

“I want to thank the Biden administration for this funding, furthering efforts to fight climate change with cleaner energy as well as addressing supply-chain backlogs created by the Covid-19 pandemic. Long Beach, Oakland and the entire nation will benefit from these grants.”

Transportation experts said on Wednesday that the funds would likely yield improvements in the coming years.

“West Coast ports, especially LA and Long Beach, still need all the help they can get,” said George Pinsky, a Cleveland based shipping consultant, in an interview with the Globe. “Helping the cargo rail situation in Long Beach and the electric  situation in Oakland are just a few of the many steps needed to bring these ports up to snuff. But, the point is, we’re doing them. Congestion will be gone sometime next year, and all the ports need to make sure this doesn’t happen again.

“And that’s where these steps come in. And we got a few more today. These should have ben done earlier, but at least we’ll be improving these. And it’s a good thing with funds allocated just for this purpose. Hopefully we get them sooner rather than later.

According to port leaders, cargo ship congestion is expected to start to go down significantly in the next 6 months.

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One thought on “Department of Transportation Allocates $57.5 Million For Long Beach, Oakland Port Improvements

  1. All shameless greenie slush funds, no effective action. Or how about simply refraining from harmful tinkering with what was working before? THAT would be an improvement. “Never let a crisis go to waste” comes to mind. Again. You’re not helping, Dems. And you know it, but don’t care. Fine. Keep digging that hole then! We think you’ll live to regret it.

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