The efforts of the Long Beach Port Authority, in conjunction with the Los Angeles Port Authority, the City of Long Beach, Los Angeles County Flood Control Districts, US Corps of Engineers, Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad Company, to modernize and bring the Port of Long Beach into compliance with the full spectrum of modern environmental, trade, economic and operational standards are brought into focus by American Monorail’s proposal for development of a comprehensive freight monorail system connecting the port directly to the vast Burlington Northern Santa Fe rail yards eighteen miles inland, along the banks of the Los Angeles River. The adjacent Port of Los Angeles could be seamlessly integrated into the monorail system by joining in the project’s initial planning and design, and through agreement and commitment of City of Los Angeles’ port authority to partnership in the monorail system.
Through the formation of such a multi-agency, multi-interest and multi-jurisdictional planning and implementation entity, the best interests of local communities, as well as, strategic regional transportation and economic plans of governmental entities at every level can be joined in a mutually beneficial partnership with the corporate interests of railroad and international shipping companies. Bringing together the strengths and resources of all participating stakeholders, governmental agencies and economic entities in a coordinated commitment to transforming the Long Beach port’s role as a gateway to international trade, as well as, a leading force in the modernization of US transportation infrastructure, can be accomplished to the great benefit of local and regional residents, businesses, tax payers and governments, while solving or eliminating many of the problems associated with historic port operations.
Environmental agencies and interest groups would realize substantial accomplishment of their air quality, traffic congestion, vehicle trip reduction and overall environmental protection objectives through coordinated planning and support of the proposed monorail transformation of port operations and extended freight distribution systems development. To the extent that the objectives of federal and state environmental agencies can be effectively addressed and implemented through the proposed upgrading of port operations and technology, these government environmental authorities may contribute significant levels of financial support to the planning and implementation of the port monorail system. In any case, the monorail initiative, and the transformation of port operations, and freight distribution that it would accomplish, would realize the objectives and plans of environmental agencies well beyond any that the purely regulatory and restrictive measures these governmental authorities could impose on the ports.
The opportunities for participation in the planning and initiatives presented by American Monorail’s proposed port monorail freight distribution system will permit a full range of agencies, government bodies, community and private sector stakeholders to play supportive and constructive roles in the planning and implementation of the project. Beyond the strategic application of existing financial resources to a comprehensive freight-moving monorail system, the participating agencies and entities may form new financial structures and sources of funding to implement the port monorail project. The various governmental entities, bodies and authorities participating in the port monorail development may join private owners and operators of the ports, shipping companies and Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad in committing assets and deposits to a community bank, which is focused on lending and supporting the development of infrastructure, including monorail systems. Community banks organized to support and finance local and regional transportation system development can be secured by commitment of government and privately owned property, structures and equipment, as well as, a variety of cash funds and accounts managed by the participating entities. Long-and short-term construction and development loans, as well as, long-term operational accounts can benefit community banks, monorail system builders and operators, government and private owner-partners in the banks, as well as, the broader communities that the new, modern and efficient monorail systems serve.
The riverbank location of the proposed route of the cargo monorail presents the broadest range of guide way configurations with regard to construction, elevation and location. Confined to the separate and secure flood channel maintenance and access areas of the fenced right of way, the reinforced concrete monorail guide way beams could be placed at or near grade, permitting significantly less elaborate structural design and related construction expense. Guide way beams would only require elevation or grade separation where passing above streets or roadways; a condition which may be completely avoided along the eighteen-mile route of the cargo monorail. At grade location of guide ways in dock and train yard areas may prove to be most efficient for cargo and container loading as well. In all situations and conditions, monorail design and construction methods are the most versatile and adaptable of any transportation type or mode.