The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners voted unanimously Monday to approve a $750 million terminal redevelopment project that is expected to bring thousands of jobs to the port.

The Middle Harbor Development Project will replace two older terminals with a single massive container terminal. The older terminals are now occupied by Long Beach Container Terminals, a subsidiary of Hong Kong shipping company C.Y. Tung Group; and California United Terminals, a subsidiary of South Korean conglomerate Hyundai Group. The companies will move to the new terminal.

The project is expected to create about 14,000 permanent jobs in Southern California and about 1,000 construction jobs annually during the 10 years it is built, officials said. The redevelopment is being funded by the port.

"If all goes according to plan, we are thinking we can break ground by the end of 2009," said John Pope, a Port of Long Beach spokesman. "We'd be in full construction in early 2010."

The project can still be halted in the next 10 days through an appeal to Long Beach City Council. The port has billed the terminal as its greenest ever, but the project has been opposed by the Natural Resources Defense Council and other environmental groups; they contend additional measures need to be taken to reduce the effects of truck traffic and other pollution.

If the council agrees that there a need for further review, it can ask the port to revise the proposal. With council approval, the project could get under way as early as December, Pope said.

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