LONG BEACH : Port Withdraws From Alameda Corridor Project

The Port of Long Beach has withdrawn from a proposed $1.8-billion project that would run freight trains between the city’s docks and Los Angeles railroad yards.

Port officials said they have suspended funding for the Alameda Corridor project because four cities along the route--Compton, Vernon, South Gate and Lynwood--refuse to drop a Superior Court lawsuit filed in July that seeks to block the port from expanding its terminals until the corridor is completed in 2000.

Port expansion, the cities charge in the lawsuit, is responsible for traffic problems along surface streets blocked by trains running to and from the harbor. The corridor is expected to relieve the traffic, but the cities do not want to endure five years of gridlock, the suit states.

The port’s executive director, Steven R. Dillenbeck, and port Commissioner David Hauser announced that the port was pulling out of the project at the Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority’s monthly meeting Thursday. The two then walked out of the meeting. “It is hard to keep the ball rolling when the people sitting across from you are suing you,” Dillenbeck said Friday.


The four cities and the port are among 16 members of the transportation organization. The ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles had planned to provide about $1 billion for the project.

The ports have committed $200 million each and plan to raise an additional $600 million through joint bond sales, said Gil Hicks, the project’s director.