The US Department of Transportation (DoT) will give the the Port of Long Beach a loan of $500 million as part of efforts to increase the Port’s infrastructure, including its ability to handle mega-ships.
In a statement, the DoT said the loan will be given under the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) and made available to the City of Long Beach, California.
“This $500 million federal investment reflects the President’s continued emphasis on infrastructure that will reduce traffic congestion while enhancing the Port of Long Beach’s ability to handle large container ships to support economic growth in the region and the country,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.
The loan will help finance construction of the Gerald Desmond Bridge Replacement Project, which is located at the Port of Long Beach at the southern end of State Route 710 in Los Angeles County.
It is the primary link between the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, the two largest container ports in the United States, and the warehouses and rail yards north of the ports.
The purpose of the project is to replace an outdated structure constructed in 1968 with a state of the art cable-stayed bridge.
The new bridge will accommodate increased vehicular traffic and provide emergency lanes in both directions. It will also be designed to improve safety reduce delays, as well as accommodate larger cargo vessels.
Substantial Completion of the project is expected to occur in July of 2020, after which the existing structure will be demolished. The loan will replace a $325 million TIFIA loan which closed in 2014, but remains undrawn.
The principal amount has been increased to assist the Port with additional costs arising from the implementation of more robust design and lifecycle features.
The Port of Long Beach is a landlord port that derives its revenues largely through long-term property and rental agreements conveying a right to use, rent, or lease port assets. The TIFIA loan will be repaid through revenues generated by the Port’s operations.