You will be redirected back to your article in seconds
Skip to main content

Port of Los Angeles Nabs $9.9M Infrastructure Grant After Busiest September on Record

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has awarded the Port of Los Angeles a $9.88 million Port Infrastructure Development Program grant as part of $220 million in discretionary grant funding to improve port facilities in 15 states and territories through the Maritime Administration’s Port Infrastructure Development Program.

The Port of Los Angeles said the funding will help pay for construction improvements at the heavily traveled Harbor Boulevard-Front Street interchange and the Vincent Thomas Bridge in San Pedro.

“Support for this federal grant came from all levels of government,” Port of Los Angeles executive director Gene Seroka said. “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 (NHFN).”

News of the grant comes as the Port of Los Angeles manages an influx of imports. The port processed 883,625 Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) in September, a 13.3 year-over-year bump marking the busiest September and the best single three-month quarter—2,701,847 TEUs—in the port’s 114-year history.

“Despite unresolved questions about our nation’s health, economy and export strength, imports have improved significantly after a difficult spring,” Seroka said in September of the spike in TEUs. “I commend our longshore labor force, Los Angeles marine terminal operators, truckers and supply chain stakeholders who continue to rise to the challenge throughout this pandemic.”

Related Stories

The port improvements call for new and improved on-ramps and off-ramps, in addition to enhancing access to and from Interstate Highway 110 and the Vincent Thomas Bridge. They will also eliminate a congested weaving section on the existing eastbound off-ramp, and ameliorate the intersections on Harbor Boulevard and Front Street, including adding a new signal at the new westbound ramp terminus.

The port said the project will significantly reduce delays, 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 percent of all containerized goods to and from the U.S. It is also an essential link in the larger infrastructure network of the L.A.-Long Beach trade gateway  that handles nearly 40 percent of all imports to the U.S. and 25 percent of all U.S. exports.

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. LA Metro is providing $41.2 million, of which $37.4 million is for the construction phase.

North America’s leading seaport by container volume and cargo value, the Port of Los Angeles facilitated $276 billion in trade during 2019 and is considered the top port of entry for imports of apparel and footwear. 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.

“This $220 million in federal grants will improve America’s ports with nearly half the projects are located in Opportunity Zones, which were established to revitalize economically distressed communities,” U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao said.

In addition to the Los Angeles Port complex, grants were awarded to 17 other facilities. The Port Infrastructure Development Program aims to support efforts by ports and industry stakeholders to improve facility and freight infrastructure to ensure the nation’s freight transportation needs are met, DOT said. The program provides planning, operational and capital financing, and project management assistance to improve their capacity and efficiency.

Additional reporting by Jessica Binns.