The Los Angeles Harbor Commission on Thursday certified the final Environmental Impact Report for the proposed Southern California International Gateway (SCIG) intermodal railyard, which it said would increase the efficiency and competitiveness of moving containerized cargo through the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.
BNSF will invest $500 million in the rail container transfer facility, which will be located on 185 aces four miles north of the ports.
The Port of Los Angeles said the project would reduce truck traffic, freeway congestion and air pollution by eliminating about 1.3 million truck trips annually along a 24-mile stretch of the Long Beach (710) Freeway to BNSF's Hobart Yard near downtown Los Angeles.
Matthew K. Rose, chairman and chief executive officer of the railroad, said it will "set a new standard for green technology and change the status quo for how trucking companies serve railyards, while reducing traffic and improving air quality."
The port said the facility will use the cleanest available switching and long-haul locomotives, all-electric rail-mounted gantry cranes and low emissions yard equipment. Trucks serving SCIG must meet or exceed the 2007 federal on-road low-emission engine standards, and 90 percent of the drayage fleet must be LNG-fueled or meet equivalent emissions standards by 2026. In addition, trucks must use designated routes to avoid residential neighborhoods and will be monitored by GPS units as a condition of all drayage contracts.
Rose said the project "shows the entire world that the San Pedro ports are committed to competitiveness against an expanded Panama Canal."
Construction of the yard is due to begin later this year. It is expected to open in 2016 and initially handle 570,800 TEUs. By 2035, SCIG is projected to handle a maximum of 2.8 million TEUs. - Chris Dupin