Californian port moves ahead with aggressive modernisation plan as Commission approves US$1 billion budget
The Port of Long Beach has announced its largest-ever capital improvement spending plan, as part of a US$1.02 billion budget for fiscal year 2014 approved by the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners this week.
A total of $788 million will be set aside for capital expenditure, the highest in the port’s history, to help realise major modernisation projects at the port including the Middle Harbor terminal and Gerald Desmond Bridge Replacement.
The news comes just a week after neighbouring Los Angeles Port announced that it too will allocate record funds as part of its own capital improvement program to the tune of $400 million.
The Long Beach budget, which was approved unanimously by the Commission, also projects its highest ever operating revenue of $375 million. The budget will be presented to the Long Beach City Council for approval next month.
The budget will help to generate 52 full-time positions at the port, which includes as many as 33 in the Engineering Bureau and 12 in the Security Division. Meanwhile, $73 million will be allocated to environmental programs aimed at improving air and water quality, as well as protecting the habitats of marine wildlife.
Al Moro, the ports recently appointed acting executive director, said the port’s budget incorporates a combination of prudent fiscal planning and “green growth” that increases cargo flows with environmental sustainability programs.
“Our carefully planned 10-year capital improvement program represents a significant investment in this port, and this annual budget is just one part of that,” said Moro.
“We’re working to maintain this port’s ability to sustain economic activity and jobs in Long Beach and the region.”