Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway plans to invest more than $500 million to develop and operate an intermodal rail yard on 185-acres north of the San Pedro, California port complex, which will create more than 1,000 jobs.
“SCIG will establish a new national benchmark for the development of such facilities in California and across the country, as it will be the cleanest rail facility in history, said Matthew K. Rose, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer of BNSF. “SCIG will set a new standard for green technology and change the status quo for how trucking companies serve railyards, while reducing traffic and improving air quality. We look forward to the project’s approval by the Los Angeles City Council and to construction of this important facility, beginning with the thousands of jobs it will create. This action shows the entire world that the San Pedro ports are committed to competitiveness against an expanded Panama Canal. ”
The Los Angeles Harbor Commission certified the final Environmental Impact Report for the proposed Southern California International Gateway intermodal rail yard and approved a landmark rail infrastructure project. The project will increase the efficiency and competitiveness of moving containerized cargo through the nation’s busiest harbor complex to U.S. and global markets, the Commission said.
“Expanding near-dock rail service sharpens the competitive edge that makes the Port of Los Angeles a global leader in international goods movement,” said Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commission President Cindy Miscikowski. “By requiring the highest achievable low emissions vehicles as a part of the operation delivery system ensuring that this will be the nation’s cleanest railyard, this project would be another model link in Southern California’s unparalleled freight logistics chain.”
“Modernizing our transportation infrastructure is crucial to creating jobs, strengthening our economy and improving our quality of life in Los Angeles,” said Los Angeles City Councilman Joe Buscaino. “This project is needed to bring lasting prosperity to our region and the nation.”
The Harbor Commission noted the project would reduce truck traffic, freeway congestion and air pollution by eliminating approximately 1.3 million truck trips annually along a 24-mile stretch of the Long Beach Freeway to BNSF’s Hobart Yard near downtown Los Angeles.
Construction is due to begin later this year and create 1,500 direct and indirect jobs per year over three years. Expected to open in 2016, SCIG would generate up to 1,096 long-term jobs at full capacity. As a hub for building trains bound for specific destinations throughout the country, SCIG will offer shippers, carriers and terminal operators expanded Class 1 railroad options for getting products to consumers more competitively and efficiently. High-tech logistics systems would maximize trucking operations by reducing turn times, one-way trips and emissions. Construction and operation of the facility would be subject to stringent environmental controls.