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710 Improvements (Ports of LA/LB to SR 60)

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While looking for something else, I found the following documents related to I-710 improvements that are under consideration:

This is from August 2012.  It includes various possible improvements including additional lanes and a separate truck route for I-710 between the ports of LA and Long Beach and SR 60.


hm insulators:
I like the idea of a separate truck route but where would they put it? You've got the LA River channel, a major power line corridor and devlopment crowded right up against the freeway.


--- Quote from: hm insulators on January 21, 2014, 02:37:14 PM ---I like the idea of a separate truck route but where would they put it? You've got the LA River channel, a major power line corridor and devlopment crowded right up against the freeway.

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Random thought: Elevated viaduct much like the Harbor Freeway express lanes?

With the Alameda Corridor and other improvements to rail facilities, why all this effort for the inefficient trucks? I would rather see more effort put into an outlying facility to transload from truck to rail than have more trucks coming into the harbor area.

An article looks at the proposal for dedicated truck lanes on I-710 between the ports and CA 60. The article wonders why more freight traffic is not diverted onto the parallel Alameda Corridor rail line that roughly parallels Alameda Street (partially CA 47).

--- Quote ---The study for the northern section came out in March and looked at the "gap closure" from Alhambra to Pasadena, where the 710 would join the 210. The study for the southern section was released in June 2012 and looks at widening and double-decking the segment that runs 20 miles from the ports to the Pomona Freeway south of downtown. This chunk is mostly about freight and would cost around $8 billion. Together, the environmental studies cost millions and number 2300 pages, with over 26,000 pages of supporting documents.

Most people know that Los Angeles had a comprehensive mass transit system, the Pacific Electric. But the Pacific Electric, along with other railroads of Southern California, also delivered freight. All the building materials and manufactured goods that made the economy of Los Angeles was once delivered on local rail spurs directly to warehouses, many of them in downtown LA.

So what killed local rail freight delivery? "It was the Interstate Highway System," explained Don Norton, a spokesman for the Pacific Harbor Line, a railroad that assembles long-distance freight trains full of containers offloaded from cargo ships. "But railroads still compete on cargo that’s heavy, bulky, and traveling extremely long distances."

Railroads have to maintain their own infrastructure—meaning thousands of miles of tracks, switches, spurs, bridges, signals, yards, etc. So they focus on their long-distance mainlines where they get the most bang for the buck. Trucking companies, on the other hand, get an all-but free ride on roads built by state and local governments. They also cause a disproportionate amount of damage.

As a result, when cargo comes off a ship in Los Angeles, if it's staying in the region or going no farther than Nevada or Arizona, trucks cost less. If it's going to Memphis, Chicago or anyplace east of the Rockies, or around 550 miles or more, it’s more cost-effective to combine the shipments onto a single freight train—often more than a mile in length—rather than paying some 300 truck drivers to do the same job. Some long distance trains are put together right on the docks. Others are assembled in what's called "near dock" yards—trucks scoot containers from ships to rail yards a few miles away, where they are transferred onto those giant freight trains.

But today’s largest ships carry 19,000 containers. There isn't enough area near the docks to handle it all. So over 800 trucks a day use the 710 and other connecting roads to get to giant rail yards in Commerce.

The situation was worse before the Alameda Corridor, a dedicated, 20-mile freight train "expressway," with a three-track mainline, roughly paralleling the 710. Completed in 2002, it greatly improved the connection between the ports to the rest of the national rail system. The Alameda Corridor handles about 45 trains a day, helping them get back and forth to the docks quickly. Each train carries the cargo equivalent of 250 to 300 trucks, explained John Doherty, chief officer of the authority that operates the Alameda Corridor. It would take over 11,000 trucks, every day, to do the job of these trains. But the Corridor is operating at 36 percent capacity, he explained. It could handle 105 more trains every day, or the equivalent of another 26,000 trucks.

Policy makers have a choice: add more lanes to the 710 or figure out how to get more stuff onto trains.
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