Railyard on track for service to Port of LA

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David McNew/Getty Images

A truck passes shipping containers at China Shipping at the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, the busiest port complex in the U.S. in Sept. 2008.

In Los Angeles, officials are moving forward with a $500 million plan to build a new railyard near the seaport.

The port and BNSF Railways plan to build the Southern California International Gateway project four miles from L.A.'s docks. The goal is to keep up with growing port traffic and make it more efficient to transfer cargo from ships to trains.

Clean diesel trucks that pick up containers would make much shorter trips to place shipped goods on trains for movement around the country. Port officials claim that the new railyard will cut 1.5 million longer truck trips from the 710 Freeway.

In the newly-released environmental impact report, officials say low-emission locomotives, electric cranes and railyard equipment will also help cut freeway congestion, improve air quality and reduce cancer risks in surrounding areas. BNSF and the port of Los Angeles also promise that the construction project will create 22,000 jobs in Southern California within 15 years.

Project managers are accepting public comment through Dec. 22.

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