Long Beach Reaches into Mega-Ship Era

 07 Dec 2017 09.37am

US officials were joined by construction specialists recently to celebrate the completion of the two 515-foot-tall towers for the new bridge under construction at the Port of Long Beach, marking the topping-out stage of development.

The topping-out ceremony marked the end of a three-year construction process to build the signature towers that will be the centre-pieces of California’s first cable-stayed bridge for vehicular traffic.

The ceremony was attended by more than 100 dignitaries.

Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia said: “These new towers reaching over 500 feet into the air are changing the Long Beach skyline. The bridge is not only an important piece of infrastructure; its design will create a new iconic gateway into our city.”

Lou Anne Bynum, Long Beach Harbor Commission President, said: “The new bridge will benefit the whole region. We will have improved traffic flow for our neighbours as well as for truckers and for our cyclists and walkers, don’t forget that we will also have the Mark Bixby Memorial Bicycle and Pedestrian Path.”

The bridge towers form the tallest structures in Long Beach, and the two towers on either side of the Port’s Back Channel will be main features of the new bridge.

One of the two towers in full scale

The bridge is slated for completion in 2019, at which time Long Beach can facilitate much taller ships that will bring much larger capacities.

Read a technical paper Dr Noel Hacegaba from the Port of Long Beach on its evolving quest for efficiency

Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero said: “This achievement is the result of collaboration among our funding partners, as well as world-class engineering and construction by the whole project team.

“We are now ready to move to our next important stage, which is to build the main span of the bridge.”

In other news from the Port of Long Beach, along with the Port of Los Angeles it is soliciting proposals for new technology to reduce at-berth emissions for non-container vessels, such as tankers, vehicle carriers, bulk and general cargo ships.

California is well-known as the most prominent green US state and Long Beach and LA have long strived to attain high-quality green standards.

Read a technical paper by Chief Sustainability Officer at the Port of Los Angeles Christopher Cannon on how to green your port

At-berth air pollution from container ships is already greatly curtailed by the use of shore power at the two California giant ports, with both ports investing nearly US$400 million in dockside power hook-ups and other infrastructure to facilitate shore power.

The request for proposals by the ports under their Technology Advancement Program offers $1 million ($500,000 from each port) to fund demonstrations of one or more cost-effective technologies that can eliminate at-berth emissions from ships that don’t fall under the state’s shore power mandate.

Proposers must provide at least a 50% match to the project cost.

The Port of Long Beach said in a statement: “Large ships are the leading source of port-related emissions [at Long Beach]. Cutting pollution from vessels is a key strategy in the San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP), adopted in 2006.

“The CAAP, a landmark effort aimed at reducing health risks, was recently updated. The update calls for up to a 100% reduction in at-berth emissions from container and non-container vessels by 2030.

“Compared to 2005 levels, the CAAP has helped reduce diesel particulate matter up to 88%, sulphur oxides by 97%, nitrogen oxides by 56% and greenhouse gases 22%.”

Read: Long Beach to Upgrade Port Equipment for Clean Air Action Plan

  Cargo Volumes and Throughput, Environment , Global Economy/Trade, Mega Ship Ready, Ports