Caltrans seeks public input on statewide freight mobility plan

The Los Angeles meeting will take place on July 22. Here’s the press release from Caltrans:

With the economic recovery expanding, California’s highways, seaports, and railroads are again teeming with freight being transported across the state and on to the rest of the nation. Caltrans has invested billions of dollars in projects aimed at improving freight movement and reducing its environmental impacts, and this summer it will ask the public to weigh-in on the future of freight movement in California.

Caltrans will host eight public workshops between June 17 and July 24 to solicit input on the draft California Freight Mobility Plan (CFMP), which lays out a vision for all the ways freight is moved, including seaports, air cargo, railroads, and trucking. While promoting economic competitiveness, the plan will also benefit the environment and promote public health by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants.

“To maintain and improve California’s status as the eighth-largest economy in the world, we must create a multimodal freight plan that sustains freight jobs, improves transportation, protects the environment and our communities,” said Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty.

 

The U.S. Department of Transportation will rely on the CFMP and other state freight plans as it shapes a national freight plan. Projects identified in California’s plan will be eligible to apply for a higher percentage of federal funding.

This plan is especially important because California is a national and global trade leader. Of the country’s internationally traded consumer products, about 40 percent is transported through California’s seaports. With 12 seaports, California has an unparalleled geographic trade position on the Pacific Rim.

California has set aggressive goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and achieve a sustainable environment. The freight plan’s goal is to transition the freight industry to zero or near zero emissions by 2050. California has already made progress in reducing freight’s effects through better engines, cleaner fuels, infrastructure changes, and improved operations.

To review the draft plan and comment, please attend any of these eight public workshops:

Caltrans has accomplished much to improve freight in California over the last few years. Some of the more notable freight projects include:

  • Otay Mesa East Port of Entry: This project is an innovative, tolled land port of entry designed to significantly reduce border wait times and expedite the flow of goods between California and Mexico. Caltrans broke ground on the project last year.
  • Cordelia Truck Scales: In July 2013, a new $100 million truck complex opened along eastbound Interstate 80 near Fairfield in Solano County. The state-of-the-art facility fast-tracks inspections for more than two million trucks annually that travel from the Port of Oakland on I-80 through Northern California.
  • Gerald Desmond Bridge: At 515 feet tall, the new Gerald Desmond Bridge when completed will be tall enough to allow the world’s largest ships to pass under and enter the Port of Long Beach’s inner harbor, increasing the Port’s capacity to handle more cargo. Currently, about 15 percent of the nation’s international containerized trade is moved by trucks across the existing bridge. The new bridge will have three lanes in each direction, allowing a more efficient flow of goods and people.
  • Colton Crossing: This rail project was completed last year, $109 million under budget and eight months ahead of schedule. Most trains entering or leaving Southern California used the at-grade rail-to-rail crossing, which resulted in significant congestion on commuter and freight rail lines. A new elevated overpass has removed that chokepoint. The project will deliver an estimated $241 million in travel time savings and reduce greenhouse gas emissions 34,000 tons annually.

Caltrans is developing the CFMP in partnership with the California State Transportation Agency, the freight industry, public agencies, Native American tribal governments, and advocacy groups. The plan will be finalized by the end of this year. To view the draft plan, informational materials, and to receive more details on the public workshops, please visit: www.cfmp.dot.ca.gov.

Those unable to attend a meeting in person, can comment by email (cfmp@dot.ca.gov.) or send a letter or a completed comment card to:California Department of Transportation, Division of Transportation Planning, Office of System, Freight, and Rail Planning, 1120 N Street, MS 32, Sacramento, CA 95814. Comments must be submitted by July 31, 2014.

3 replies

  1. Considerin the numbers for the Gerald Desmond Bridge and the fact that it leads right to the 710, this is one of the reasons that the 710 gap needs to be closed by a tunnel. Surface street enhancements, bus lines, and light rail lines can’t provide the mobility to frieght that a highway can. Getting this traffic off I-5 through downtown and the valley will help traffic there.

    One thing that is not a project, but would result in reduced green house gas emissions (from both cars and trucks) and would save a lot of people a lot of time commuting is to encourage (or restrict) truck traffic during comute hours. Cities around the world have programs and schemes to do this. New York only allows garbage collection at night.

  2. Being how important the missing link of the 710 to the 210 for transporting freight from the LB and LA ports to Central CA and beyond how much $$$ would this project contribute to building the 710 tunnel?

  3. No Tunnel, no, no… No thank you and heres why: Funding for the extension of the 710 through a tunnel would come from funds in Measure R. The original intent for Measure R funding stems from Ordinance #08-01… traffic relief and rail expansion? Correct me if Im wrong, but the original language placed on the ballot promoting Measure R was…. Trafiic Relief. Rail Extensions. Reduce Foreign Oil Dependence. Its that last part that I dont quite understand.. how does extending a freeway with a tunnel reduce our dependence on foreign oil, especially when the purpose of the tunnel is explicitly to accomodate semi trucks hauling cargo from the port? Measure R funds are explicitly meant to be spent on extending rail and not adding outdated transportation networks to an outdated transportation system. Freeways were the future post World War 2. Freeways are the past today. Measure R’s half cent tax increase was not approved by 2/3 of voters in LA County so that foreign freight in the ports of LA and LB could find a faster route to distribution centers further inland but rather… voters entrusted the application of Measure R to as the ballot read: Rail extension as a means to relieve traffic therefore reducing our dependence on foreign oil. Selecting the 710 tunnel as an alternative to fund with any Measure R funds wether through a public, private partnership and or in parts may provide any competent member of the public with the grounds to challenge the severability of this ordinance in court….. Dont build the tunnel, build the rail option. Its the right thing to do.