Port of Long Beach says rail facility would cut truck trips

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The Port of Long Beach is holding public hearings on a proposal that would help increase the use of “on-dock” trains and reduce the need for as many local truck trips near the port. The port will host the first of two public hearings at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 2, at Long Beach City Hall to gather comments and suggestions prior to an environmental review of the proposed On-Dock Rail Support Facility. The second hearing will be Sept. 16 at the port.

The facility, proposed for the northern area of the port, is intended to reduce train bottlenecks and provide for greater use of on-dock rail. Loading and unloading cargo within the port would significantly reduce trips by short-haul (drayage) trucks throughout the region, port officials say.

The port has released a Notice of Preparation on the proposal, the first step in the environmental review process. During the NOP phase, the public is invited to suggest issues to be examined in the draft Environmental Impact Report. The public and others will have the opportunity to comment on the NOP in writing (by mail or e-mail) or in person at the two public meetings. The full NOP is available online at www.polb.com/railNOP.

The proposed facility potentially would redevelop and expand an existing rail support facility in the vicinity of 9th Street and Pier B Avenue in the port. Including new tracks, the new facility would stretch from the Alameda Corridor in the north end of the Harbor District to Ocean Boulevard at the port.