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Port of Long Beach awarded funds for critical projects

Waterfront maintenance, repair work financed through Harbor Maintenance Tax

The Port of Long Beach received federal funding for civil works plans laid out by the Army Corps of Engineers, aimed at financing several maintenance and repair projects along the waterfront.

The funds arise from the Harbor Maintenance Tax – collected by the federal government from ports based on the value of imports, some domestic cargo and on cruise passengers. Established by Congress in 1986 to fund dredging projects at U.S. seaports, funds from the Harbor Maintenance Tax were typically collected from but not directed to ports like the Port of Long Beach. The Water Resources Development Act of 2020, however, expanded the use of funds to include in-water maintenance and repair projects, allowing for a more equitable distribution among large and small seaports.

Combined, the Port of Long Beach and the Port of Los Angeles will receive $112 million as part of the Army Corps of Engineers work plan.

Rex Richardson headshot

Rex Richardson

“These funds will contribute to our ongoing infrastructure investments and strengthen our position as the premier gateway for trans-Pacific trade,” said Long Beach Mayor Rex Richardson. “Making the Harbor Maintenance Tax more equitable will make the Port more competitive and improve our harbor, which translates into more jobs and economic growth for Long Beach.”

“The San Pedro ports move 40 percent of the nation’s container imports, transporting the goods that power our economy,” said Sen. Alex Padilla. “I am glad to see the Army Corps heed my call to fund these crucial upgrades for the Port of Long Beach that will bolster global supply chains and make long overdue repairs.”

Mayor Robert Garcia headshot

Mayor Robert Garcia

“This announcement marks a significant milestone in the decades-long battle for equitable funding allocation for the benefit of our communities and national economy,” said Rep. Robert Garcia. “As the former Mayor of Long Beach, I know firsthand how critical it is to invest in port infrastructure to maintain competitiveness, and that’s why we’ve worked to ensure that donor ports receive their fair share of funding for essential repair and replacement projects. This funding not only enhances the sustainability and efficiency of our local harbors, but also solidifies their role in international trade.”

Bobby Olvera Jr. headshot

Bobby Olvera Jr.

“The infrastructure improvements supported by the Harbor Maintenance Tax Fund will increase the efficiency and sustainability of Port operations,” said Long Beach Harbor Commission President Bobby Olvera Jr. “These important improvements will make the Port stronger, more competitive to attract business and safer for our dedicated and skilled workforce.”

Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero image

Mario Cordero

“We have long pushed for a fair share of Harbor Maintenance Tax funding to ports like ours, which traditionally have contributed more to the fund than they received,” said Port of Long Beach CEO Mario Cordero. “We thank Sen. Alex Padilla, Rep. Robert Garcia, Rep. Grace Napolitano and our other congressional leaders for securing the funds for critical repair, retrofit and replacement projects that will strengthen our ability to move cargo safely and sustainably, and our partners at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for including funds in their 2024 work plan.”

The Port is planning to spend $2.3 billion over the next 10 years in capital improvements aimed at enhancing capacity, competitiveness and sustainability. Although the bulk of the funding is designated for rail projects, the Port has identified specific needs for seismic upgrades in addition to the maintenance and repair of existing rock dikes, concrete and steel bulkheads, wharves and other marine structures.