By HOWARD FINE Staff Reporter

The Port of Long Beach last week put out a call for bids for a $25 million rail project to relieve train congestion between two terminals.

The 9,000-foot track would connect 246-acre Pier G, operated by Long Beach-based International Transportation Service Inc., with 256-acre Pier J, operated by SSA Marine Inc. of Seattle.

A single track already connects the piers, but delays have become more frequent as container volumes have increased. Trains can only go one way at a time on the single track.

The project also calls for a 1,500-foot “storage track” where train cars can be kept idle and on call for use. Construction is set to start in the fall of 2020 and last roughly one year.

“This project will increase rail efficiency at the Port, allowing us to enhance our operational excellence while decreasing impacts on the surrounding communities,” Mario Cordero, the port’s executive director, said in a statement.

Funding comes from a $14 million grant from the Trade Corridor Enhancement Program, which in turn is funded through the state’s SB 1, the gas tax increase measure enacted in 2017, and the National Highway Freight Program. The Long Beach port will contribute the remaining $11 million for the project.

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