Port of Los Angeles receives $9.9 million infrastructure development grant
Department of Transportation has awarded the Port of Los Angeles a $9.88 million Port Infrastructure Development Program grant. The funding will help pay for construction of improvements at the heavily traveled interchange at Harbor Boulevard/Front Street and the Vincent Thomas Bridge (State Route 47) in San Pedro, the company said in its release.
“Support for this federal grant came from all levels of government,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “We are grateful to the U.S. Department of Transportation, including its Maritime Administration, the members of Congress who represent the Port, and state and local leaders for recognizing the urgent need to modernize this critical junction of the National Highway Freight Network.”
These improvements to the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) designated National Highway Freight Network (NHFN) include new and improved on-ramps and off-ramps, thus improving access to/from I-110 and the Vincent Thomas Bridge; elimination of a congested weaving section on the existing eastbound off-ramp; and improvements to the intersections on Harbor Boulevard/Front Street, including a new signal at the new westbound ramp terminus.
The project will significantly reduce delay, accidents and emissions at the largest port complex in the Western Hemisphere and in state-designated “disadvantaged/low income communities.” The Port of Los Angeles is designing the project — and will construct it — in collaboration with the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), District 7. Construction advertising is expected in December 2021.
The interchange directly serves two marine terminals that handle approximately 5% of all containerized goods to and from the U.S. Likewise, it is an essential link in the larger infrastructure network of the L.A.-Long Beach trade gateway, which handles nearly 40% of all imports to the U.S. and 25% of all U.S. exports.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao announced the award Oct. 15. Instrumental backers at the national level include Congresswoman Nanette Diaz Barragán. Representative Barragán represents California’s 44th District, which stretches from South Gate to Wilmington and San Pedro and Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard from California’s 40th District, which includes East Los Angeles, South Los Angeles, Bell, Commerce and Downey.
This project is also supported and funded by the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LA Metro), via a request for funding through the South Bay Cities Council of Governments (COG). LA Metro is providing $41.2 million, of which $37.4 million is for the construction phase. Thus, the Port greatly thanks LA Metro Board of Directors, and in particular Los Angeles Mayor and LA Metro Chair Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn and 11th District City Councilman Mike Bonin. Additionally, 15th District City Councilman Joe Buscaino, who represents San Pedro and Wilmington communities, sits on the board of the South Bay Cities Council COG and played a key role in securing LA Metro funding.
The Port of Los Angeles remains open with all terminals operational during the COVID-19 pandemic. North America’s leading seaport by container volume and cargo value, the Port of Los Angeles facilitated $276 billion in trade during 2019. San Pedro Bay port complex operations and commerce facilitate one in nine jobs across the counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura.