A half-billion dollar rail yard for the Port of Los Angeles is stalled on a siding after a judge ruled its environmental impact study didn’t adequately address air quality in the city of Long Beach, just next door.
The port approved plans to build a 185-acre BNSF rail yard on the edge of the city of Long Beach. The Southern California International Gateway would have connected the port directly to BNSF’s new Alameda Corridor, an express route for trains which links to the national railroad network.
But the city of Long Beach, along with neighborhood groups opposed the plan because of air pollution concerns. The tract of land reserved for the rail yard is very close to several neighborhoods, schools, and retirement villages.
Supporters countered that the project would relieve one of Southern California’s worst freight bottlenecks and reduce the number of trucks on the crowded 710 Freeway.
But the project isn’t entirely dead. While the judge’s ruling does void the city of Los Angeles’ approval of the Gateway project, it could be resumed once a full and proper environmental study is completed.