The Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, collectively referred to as the San Pedro ports, account for close to 50 percent of the nation’s goods movement. What people may not know is that most of the goods travel by rail (through the Alameda corridor) and trucks (through the local network of LA freeways) and end up in distribution centers along the San Gabriel Valley. As the import/export industry recovers from the recession, the valley is expected to see further growth and more goods movement.
The great news about this is that the San Gabriel Valley is exposed to a vibrant and growing industry, filling in where many of the manufacturing warehouses have left. However, the drawback is that as the goods movement grows from the two ports, so does the congestion for our region. This creates the need for us to continue investing in a strong freight infrastructure in order for us to sustain the growth while minimizing the impact to the heavily residential communities of the SGV.
Over the next couple of decades, the valley will most likely see two key projects that will help set up the freight infrastructure that is needed. The first is the completion of the Alameda Corridor East (ACE) projects, a set of rail grade separations, which will end those long and annoying queues at railroad crossings. The ACE construction authority has outlined their last set of projects, though a large delta exists on how to fund them.
The other project that is a proposed is a truck route near the 60 freeway. This project was highlighted by the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) and would provide a truck freeway, separating it from the passenger lanes. For those who regularly use the SR-60 freeway will know that this will be a blessing as the highly congested road is often filled with freight trucks.
For business to continue to thrive in the San Gabriel Valley, we need our public partners to make the necessary investments that can help us sustain economic growth. Though truck lanes and grade separations are not the most exciting things to talk about, they are vital to the growth of our nation and the development of jobs.