Port of LA Celebrates Completion of 10-year, $370 Million Main Channel Deepening Project

Published Apr 4, 2013 10:42 AM by The Maritime Executive

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa,  together with elected officials and leaders from the Port of Los Angeles and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, marked the completion of the Port’s Main Channel Deepening Project, a major milestone in the Port’s ongoing efforts to assure its global competitiveness, continued growth, and job creation.  Conducted by the Corps on behalf of the Port, the 10-year, $370 million project to deepen the Port’s main navigational channel and turning basins allows the Port of Los Angeles to continue to accommodate bigger, more modern vessels from around the world.

“The Port of Los Angeles is a critical economic engine to the Los Angeles region,” said Mayor Villaraigosa. “Completion of this project means that the Port will remain competitive globally, and continue to be a strong source for jobs and regional revenue growth for years to come.”

“Our nation’s ports are the backbone of our country’s economy,” said Congresswoman Janice Hahn. “Now that this dredging project is complete, America’s Port® will have the ability to accept the new, larger cargo vessels. Our increased competiveness will strengthen our regional and national economies -- resulting in job creation in my district and across the country.”

“I commend the Port of Los Angeles for its vision and diligence in completing this monumental channel deepening project,” said Councilman Joe Buscaino. “This critical infrastructure investment will ensure the Port remains number one in the nation, and protect thousands of good-paying local jobs for years to come."

“Completion of the Main Channel Deepening Project has been our single-most, important infrastructure project,” said Port Executive Director Geraldine Knatz, Ph.D. “We’re grateful for the work of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and everyone on the Port team who helped bring this critical infrastructure priority to fruition.”

The project involved deepening of the Port’s 45-foot deep Main Channel, West Basin Channel and East Basin Channel to a 53-foot depth. During the course of the multi-year effort, the Corps generated and relocated 15 million cubic yards of dredge materials – nearly twice the amount of earth moved to create Dodger Stadium – to various sites throughout the Port. Some of that material was used to construct the 104-acre acre Cabrillo Shallow Water Habitat, providing a replacement habitat and feeding area for fish and marine birds in the outer harbor.

“The number of ships and the volume of goods they will bring, the number of jobs that will result, and the economic impact on the local area and throughout the nation are important numbers,” said Col. Mark Toy, commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District. “But the true worth of the project is the benefits it will provide for people. Directly or indirectly, locally or nationwide, immediately or in the future, the work we recognize today will benefit the lives of many people.”

The Port’s container terminal tenants rely on the Port’s deep channels to move cargo. Container terminals generate about 74 percent of Port revenues and help facilitate hundreds of thousands of direct and indirect jobs throughout Southern California. More than 43,000 direct jobs are connected to marine terminal operators at the Port.

In order to maintain and improve its world-class infrastructure, the Port of Los Angeles is in the midst of a five year, $1.3 billion Capital Improvement Program to modernize and upgrade terminals, to increase rail capacity and improve roadways in and around the Port.