The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners has passed a fiscal year 2014 to 2015 port budget, in a bid to deliver improved seaport services and remain competitive in future.
Of the total $858m expenditure, two-thirds has been reserved by the port to undertake a modernisation programme of rebuilding and replacing the outdated facilities and infrastructure.
Long Beach is planning to spend around $579m on upgrade of capital projects, including Desmond Bridge replacement project and Middle Harbor Terminal redevelopment, that are currently underway.
Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners president Doug Drummond said: "The Port will continue to provide excellent seaport services and build the port of the future.
"The Port will remain a vital economic engine for both the regional and national economies."
The spending also involves more than $30m being allocated for environmental programmes and projects, such as technology-advancement demonstrations of a barge-based pollution-control system for ships at berth and an electric truck overhead ‘catenary’ system.
The modernisation is part of the Harbor Department’s ongoing $4bn investment in port upgrades and efficiency improvements. The budget begins on 1 October and requires approval from the Long Beach City Council.
The port budget, which projects operating revenue of $346.8m, is expected to add 28 new jobs with 20 positions in engineering to support ongoing capital upgrades and six to enhance port security operations.
The Port of Long Beach is a gateway for trans-Pacific trade and handles $180bn in trade a year. Around 140 shipping lines connect Long Beach to 217 seaports.
Image: The Port of Long Beach is one of the world’s premier seaports. Photo: courtesy of Port of Long Beach.