Congressman Alan Lowenthal (CA-47) today applauded the Army Corps of Engineers for giving final approval to the Port of Long Beach (POLB) Deep Draft Navigation project, setting in motion a nearly $160 million Army Corps construction program to expand shipping and navigation channels at the Port of Long Beach.
Army Corps Chief Lieutenant General Scott Spellmon signed the documents approving the project today. The approval comes after several years of preparatory work, studies, and proposals by POLB. Under the project plan, the Army Corps will cover $56 million of the project, with POLB providing funds to cover the remaining costs.
“This is an absolutely critical project for the port and for our supply chain system,” Congressman Lowenthal said. “The expansion of the navigation channels at the port will allow larger vessels to maneuver safely in the port and berth in areas previously unavailable. More berthing space means more efficient and quicker loading and unloading of cargo, thus increasing the capacity and efficiency of supply chains overall. This project will not just help the port, not just our communities by reducing emissions, not just our environment–but businesses and communities at every point along the supply chain system. I will work in Congress to make sure that the Deep Draft Navigation project moves forward without delay.”
The POLB Deep Draft Navigation project will:
- Deepen the POLB Approach Channel to 80 feet and the West Basin Channel, Pier J Basin and berths to 55 feet;
- Build a Pier J Approach Channel, a turning basin outside of Pier J South and a new dredge electric substation at Pier J South; and
- Ease bends in the Main Channel and make improvements to the Pier J breakwaters.
“The deepening and widening of these channels is of vital importance to the nation’s economy,” Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero said. “Keep in mind, we are the nation’s second-busiest port by container volume. Increasing the efficiency and speed that cargo is handled here has benefits to the whole supply chain reaching far beyond Southern California.”
“This study was long in the making, and we thank the US Army Corps of Engineers and all of the stakeholders who participated,” Long Beach Harbor Commission President Steven Neal said. “These projects would help move cargo faster and save transportation costs. We look forward to working with our federal partners to make them a reality.”