Q: What is the Alameda Corridor?
A: The Alameda Corridor is a 20-mile long rail cargo expressway that links the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles to the railroad mainlines near downtown Los Angeles. It consists of a series of bridges, underpasses, overpasses, and a Mid-Corridor Trench that carries freight trains in an open trench 10 miles long, 33 feet deep, and 50 feet wide between State Route 91 in Carson and 25th Street in Los Angeles. The Corridor provides more efficient freight movement while reducing truck trips, traffic congestion, air emissions, and slashing delays at railroad crossings. It is both an environmental mitigation project and a capacity enhancement project.
Q: What is ACTA?
A: The Alameda Corridor was built by the Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority (ACTA), a joint-powers authority formed by the Cities and Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles. ACTA’s seven-member Governing Board includes two representatives from each Port; a member of each city council, and a representative of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
Following the opening of the Corridor in April 2002, its operations are overseen by a four-member Alameda Corridor Operating Committee which includes one representative each from the Port of Long Beach; Port of Los Angeles; Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway, and Union Pacific Railroad. The Governing Board continues to provide policy direction to ACTA staff regarding additional projects, planning studies and revenue collection.
Q: What are ACTA’s priorities moving forward?
A: ACTA, at its August 2008 board meeting, established four critical projects: the SR-47 Port Access Expressway to reduce freeway congestion, for which ACTA has recently secured $158 million in state bond funds; a new Cerritos Rail Channel Bridge to support increased on-dock rail loadings, exploring a zero emissions container mover system as an alternative to trucks, and the movement of the storage of empty containers away from residential neighborhoods.
Q: Why isn’t the Alameda Corridor up to capacity?
A: The Alameda Corridor – built to accommodate future growth -- was designed in order to move goods quickly and efficiently from the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to destinations outside of California, mostly those east of the Rocky Mountains. Market forces, in addition to decisions by shippers to use other North American ports, are all factors that affect the amount of goods shipped through the ports and along the Corridor. It carries about one-third of the Port container volume.
Q: Why aren’t we seeing a reduction in traffic because of the Alameda Corridor?
A: While the Alameda Corridor has significantly improved surface transportation between the Ports and downtown Los Angeles, carrying the equivalent of 7,000 trucks per day, many other factors, including population growth, commuting patterns, warehousing, and the location of job centers have had a major impact on regional traffic conditions.
Q: How does the Alameda Corridor help to benefit the environment?
A: Each train emits far fewer pollutants than the 250-280 trucks they replace. This has resulted in more than 1,000 tons of pollutants removed from the air each year. In addition, the alleviation of traffic congestion due to rail crossings resulted in the reduction of more than 9,400 tons of emissions since 2002.
Q: What other benefits does the Alameda Corridor bring to the region?
A: Prior to the opening of the Alameda Corridor, there were more than 200 rail crossings at street level along the four rail lines between the Ports and Downtown Los Angeles. Since opening in 2002, the Alameda Corridor has consolidated rail traffic on one grade separated line making it safer for motorists, pedestrians, cyclists, and emergency response providers at the 200 crossings.
Q: Are there any other benefits to the community that ACTA has provided?
A: Yes – during the construction of the Alameda Corridor, through its contractors and various community partnerships, ACTA administered several programs designed to provide local residents and businesses with direct benefits that will long outlive actual construction, including:
- Construction industry-specific job training for 1,281 local residents, including 637 placed in union apprenticeships.
- 30% of all labor hours for Mid-Corridor Trench were performed by local residents living in adjacent zip codes.
- Through aggressive outreach and technical assistance, ACTA helped disadvantaged (primarily small and woman- or minority-owned) businesses compete for and earn contracts worth more than $285 million, meeting the program goal of 22 percent of all contracts.
- On-the-job training and education credits for more than 420 young adults (ages 18-23), who performed community beautification work through the Conservation Corps program.
- One-on-one technical consulting for 25 local import-export companies and entry-level, international trade-specific job training for 20 local residents through a joint program with the World Trade Center Association.