USA: Officials Provide Update on Middle Harbor Project
The Middle Harbor Redevelopment Project will combine two aging shipping terminals into one modern terminal to improve cargo-movement efficiency and environmental performance.
The nine-year, $1.2 billion project will upgrade wharfs, water access and storage area; as well as add a greatly expanded on-dock rail yard. The project will cut air pollution and add thousands of jobs to the economy. Project construction started in spring 2011 on Phase 1, Stage 1 of the project.
The Port of Long Beach has reached a tentative agreement on a 40-year, $4.6 billion lease with Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL) for the Middle Harbor property, in what would be the largest deal of its kind for any U.S. seaport.
Phase 1 is under way. Landfill for part of a new wharf is in place and concrete piles to support the wharf deck are being sunk. Crews are also at work on the wharf’s electrical infrastructure, which will eventually power cranes and allow ships at berth to plug into the power grid instead of burning diesel to make electricity.
In October, dredging work was completed in the Main Channel all the way into the Middle Harbor and East Basin, improving access for oil tankers and creating one of the deepest harbors among U.S. seaports. The deeper, wider channel and basin also provide additional, safer access for the world’s largest container ships to call in Long Beach.
In keeping with the Port’s Green Port Policy and the San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan, the project will minimize or eliminate negative environmental impacts from shipping operations. To improve air quality and reduce environmental impacts, the Project includes:
– Shore power for ships
– Expanded on-dock rail to shift more than 30 percent of the cargo shipments from trucks to trains
– Cleaner yard equipment
– Electric rail-mounted gantry (RMG) cranes
– Green Flag Vessel Speed Reduction program requirements
– Use of low-sulfur fuels for ships’ main and auxiliary engines
– “Green building” (LEED) environmental standards
– Storm water pollution prevention
– Solar panels
– Reuse or recycle waste materials such as concrete, steel, copper, and other materials during construction.
Dredging Today Staff, February 22, 2012; Images: polb