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Record Federal Funding Boosts Maintenance and Repair at Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach

Record Federal Funding Boosts Maintenance and Repair at Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach

Maintenance and Repair at Ports of Los Angeles

The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have been awarded a combined $112 million in federal funds from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, marking a significant milestone for these critical infrastructure hubs. This funding, derived from the Harbor Maintenance Tax, is set to finance vital maintenance and repair projects at both ports, along with a Salton Sea project aimed at addressing public health and environmental concerns.

Significant Federal Investment Announced

U.S. Senator Alex Padilla, D-Calif., revealed that the funds come from the fiscal year 2024 Army Corps of Engineers Work Plan. This includes nearly $4 million dedicated to a feasibility study for the Salton Sea, which is known as California’s most polluted inland lake. "The Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are pivotal to our national economy, moving 40% of the nation’s container imports," Padilla emphasized. "These crucial upgrades will bolster global supply chains and make long overdue repairs to the ports."

Comprehensive Infrastructure Repairs Planned

The awarded funds will support a range of infrastructure repairs across the San Pedro Bay port complex, which includes the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Planned projects encompass seismic safety upgrades, wharf and fender repairs, pile replacements, sediment removal and remediation, and improvements to slips and channels. These enhancements are vital for maintaining the ports' operational integrity and ensuring their resilience against future challenges.

Port of Long Beach's Strategic Investments

The Port of Long Beach, the leading U.S. seaport for exports, has ambitious plans to invest $2.3 billion over the next decade in capital improvements, with a significant focus on expanding rail capacity. This strategic investment is expected to enhance the port's ability to handle increasing volumes of trans-Pacific trade efficiently.

Equitable Distribution of Harbor Maintenance Tax

Established in 1986, the Harbor Maintenance Tax is administered by the Army Corps of Engineers and is collected based on the value of imports, certain domestic cargo, and cruise passengers. Historically, funds were not equitably directed to ports like Long Beach. However, the Water Resources Development Act of 2020 broadened the scope of fund usage, ensuring a more balanced distribution.

“These funds will significantly contribute to our ongoing infrastructure investments, strengthening our position as the premier gateway for trans-Pacific trade,” said Long Beach Mayor Rex Richardson. “Equitably distributing the Harbor Maintenance Tax will make the Port more competitive and drive economic growth for Long Beach.”

Record Funding for Port of Los Angeles

The Port of Los Angeles, the nation’s top container port, received a record $58 million – almost 10 times its previous year’s funding. Historically, a few major ports, including Los Angeles and Long Beach, contributed about half of the harbor tax revenue but received only 3% of the funding. This year marks a change, with significant allocations under Sections 104 and 102 of the Water Resources Development Act of 2022.

“Addressing this funding disparity has been a long process,” said Los Angeles Harbor Commission President Lucille Roybal-Allard. The port estimates that overall navigation maintenance and repair projects will cost approximately $6.7 billion.

Moving Forward

This substantial federal funding is set to bolster the infrastructure of two of the nation’s most vital ports, enhancing their capacity and efficiency. As these projects progress, the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach will continue to play a critical role in the global supply chain, driving economic growth and maintaining their status as premier gateways for international trade.

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