Port of Long Beach, California selects HDR to design £716.2m rail project


The Port of Long Beach in California has selected construction consulting firm HDR to design the $870m (£716.2m) rail project that can reduce bottlenecks at the container port.

The Pier B On-Dock Rail Support Facility Project will expand the port’s capability of loading shipping containers directly on rail cars instead of loading them onto trucks for short-haul trips.

The expansion and configuration of the existing Pier B railyard is claimed to create a staging to load freight trains nearly 2 miles long, while eliminating the thousands of local truck trips.

In January, Port Executive Director Mario Cordero in his State of the Port address said: “This is visionary. This port is taking the lead in rail. The delivery of containers to and from ships by train is the most sustainable and efficient way to move cargo in and out of the port.

“Each train eliminates as many as 750 truck trips, speeding the flow of goods and cutting traffic on roadways. Train is a big part of our green future.”

HDR senior vice president and Southern California transportation manager Tom Kim said: “This is a game-changer for the port. We have been working with the port a long time on preparation for this critical project, and we’re excited to see it all come together.”

Last month, the City of Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners had approved the selection of HDR to lead the design of the project, along with site investigations, traffic studies, structural analyses, lighting analyses, program sequencing and more.

HDR said that it will work with subconsultant Moffat & Nichol on the Pier B project, which is scheduled for completion in three phases, with the first phase to be completed by 2024.

Last month, the company acquired UK-based Hurley Palmer Flatt Group (HPF Group) and all of its subsidiaries including Hurley Palmer Flatt, Andrew Reid, Bradbrook Consulting and Concentre Consulting.

Founded in 1968, HPF Group is an engineering consultancy that offers mechanical, electrical and plumbing, civil and structural engineering and commissioning management services with particular expertise in institutional, high-rise multiuse, financial and commercial ‘smart’ buildings.

The company has more than 500 active clients, many of which are Fortune 500 firms representing the top technology and financial clients in the world. It offers its services from 10 offices with a staff of 500.


Image: Aerial view of the Port of Long Beach. Photo: Courtesy of Hyfen/Wikipedia.org.

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