State grants totaling $1.5 billion, including more than $383 million for the Port of Long Beach and $233 million for the Port of Los Angeles, will help smooth out snags in the supply chain and also reduce air pollution, officials said Thursday.
Projects the funding will help pay for include zero-emission vehicles and equipment at the Port of Long Beach, expansion of a chassis and cargo container storage facility at the Port of Los Angeles, and road improvements and upgraded train crossings for ports up and down the California coast.
“These grants will produce major benefits in the form of increased jobs, greater economic opportunity and cleaner skies in the years ahead,” Port of Long Beach Chief Operating Officer Noel Hacegaba said at a press conference announcing the funding.
Officials estimate the funding will help create or retain as many as 20,000 jobs.
Some of the Long Beach port’s money will go to a new on-dock rail facility so more cargo can be moved by trains rather than trucks, zero-emission locomotives, and the creation of a grant program to retrofit or replace tugboats and other harbor vessels to reduce pollution.
California State Transportation Agency Secretary Toks Omishakin said that while the funding won’t cover the full cost of every project, it will put them in a better position to compete for federal infrastructure dollars.
“It’s going to modernize piers, wharfs and docks, expand capacity and improve port efficiency, provide zero-emission terminal equipment, expand truck battery charging and hydrogen fueling locations, improve critical grade separations and grade crossings, and further active transportation at or around the ports,” said Omishakin.
Standing on the helipad atop the port’s command center, officials recalled how in November 2021—with the port clogged and ships backed up into the harbor—Gov. Gavin Newsom pledged to address supply chain bottlenecks in both the short and long term.
Newsom “kept his promise, and that promise was to invest in goods movement, to invest in California ports and to invest in the sustainable development of our quest to address the climate change issue,” Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero said.
Other projects receiving some of the state funding include rail line improvements in the San Fernando Valley, rail crossing separations in Riverside and Santa Ana, zero-emission cargo handling equipment for the Port of Hueneme, and modernizing the terminal at the Port of Oakland.