Photo by John Schreiber.

The Port of Long Beach’s planned Pier B On-Dock Rail Support Facility, which will shift cargo movement from trucks to rails, was approved by the U.S. Maritime Administration, the port announced Monday.

The facility — the centerpiece of the port’s rail capital improvement program — will allow the port to directly transfer containers to and from marine terminals by train, which will reduce truck traffic and make the process cleaner and more efficient.

No cargo trucks will visit the facility, and instead, smaller segments will be brought to the facility and joined together into a full-sized train, port officials said.

“Simply put, the Pier B On-Dock Rail Support Facility will move cargo faster and with fewer environmental impacts,” said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero. “We thank MARAD for its work completing the EIS, which allows us to receive federal funding for a facility that will benefit the whole country.”

The U.S. Maritime Administration on Monday issued a Final Environmental Impact Statement and Record of Decision approving the project, which was awarded a $52.3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation last year.

Port officials expect construction to begin in 2023, with the first arrival, departure and storage tracks completed in 2025. Additional tracks would come online 2030, followed by project completion in 2032.

“The Port of Long Beach is a gateway for $200 billion in job-generating trade each year,” said Long Beach Harbor Commission President Steven Neal. “This project will help cargo move more efficiently, and it’s vital to maintaining our competitiveness and meeting our environmental goals.”

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