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Apr 13, 2017

Tesla plan puts clean-truck race into high gear

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Tesla Inc. plans to unveil an electric cargo truck in September, Chief Executive Elon Musk said Thursday, heating up the race to get a zero-emissions semi-truck on the road.

“Tesla Semi truck unveil set for September,” Musk said on Twitter. “Team has done an amazing job. Seriously next level.” He did not provide any details, including when the truck would be available for purchase.

The truck would add to the ambitious production schedule underway at the Palo Alto automaker, which also is gearing up to build its widely anticipated Model 3 mid-market sedan.

Musk previously had indicated that the truck was coming and that it probably would have some autonomous-driving features.

Musk also tweeted Thursday that Tesla expects to unveil a pickup truck in 18 to 24 months.

In outlining the company’s “master plan” last July, Musk said heavy-duty trucks were among the other types of electric vehicles needed in the marketplace and that Tesla expected to unveil its truck this year.

“We believe the Tesla Semi will deliver a substantial reduction in the cost of cargo transport, while increasing safety and making it really fun to operate,” he said then.

Others also are working on bringing a zero-emissions cargo truck to market, such as Mercedes-Benz and its Urban eTruck, and Nikola Motor Co.’s hydrogen fuel cell truck, which the company showcased in December.

Tesla’s stock closed Thursday at $304 a share, up $7.16.

Online Edition

Tesla Inc. plans to unveil an electric cargo truck in September, Chief Executive Elon Musk said Thursday, heating up the race to get a zero-emissions semi-truck on the road.

“Tesla Semi truck unveil set for September,” Musk said on Twitter. “Team has done an amazing job. Seriously next level.” He did not provide any details, including when the truck would be available for purchase.

Nov 23, 2017

Tesla’s Semi already making waves at LA, Long Beach port complex — 2 years before its release

Online Edition

Tesla’s flashy unveiling last week of a futuristic, electric heavy-duty truck was an eye-opener for industry experts, who are hopeful but still wonder if its game-changing features could truly be mass-produced affordably.

Nevertheless, officials at the twin ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are going along for the ride. They have met with Tesla engineers about the new Semi to offer tips and learn about its unique features.

“Tesla has been recognized as a leader in the development of battery technology and battery-manufacturing processes,” said Chris Cannon, director of environmental management for the Port of Los Angeles. “We’re anxious to see when they’re actually able to deliver a truck. Our goal is reaching zero-emissions technology for all on-road equipment by 2035.”

But few have seen the truck in person, let alone tested and gauged its possibilities. Even so, the company’s reputation and marketing strategy, a mix of Hollywoodesque hype and limited access, has helped draw curious interest from potential industry customers.

The company’s celebrity billionaire CEO, Elon Musk, claimed at its public unveiling at Hawthorne airport that it can drive for 500 miles on a single charge — double what existing electric truck technology offers.

The truck also carries autonomous-driving technology capable of taking over and driving itself if the driver’s hands leave the wheel during a route, and it comes with a 1-million-mile warranty, he said.

But the Semi won’t begin production for two years and there isn’t even a manufacturing facility for it yet. What’s more, Tesla has repeatedly failed to meet production deadlines on its low-cost Model 3 sedan, and the company abruptly fired 700 employees without notice last month.

Those facts didn’t dissuade the largest cargo hauler at the ports, NFI Industries, from reserving 10 Tesla Semis.

“Supposedly, they’re going to build a truck plant at the Gigafactory,” Tesla’s lithium-ion battery production facility in Nevada, said Ike Brown, president of NFI Industries. “I think the fact that they advertise the power train has a 1-million-mile warranty is huge. We operate our trucks over 100,000 miles a year and that would mean the whole power train is warrantied for almost 10 years.”

NFI Industries purchased California Cartage Co. in October and now has a fleet of about 2,500 trucks that do mostly local routes. Like other operators working at the ports, they are considering a range of emerging market options so it can transition to all zero-emissions trucks by 2035, a requirement in the newly approved Clean Air Action Plan.

Brown said he’s impressed with Tesla’s sedans and that, if the trucks operate similarly, he will be eager to buy them — if they are competitively priced.

“I kinda think the future of short-haul trucking is moving toward all-electric,” Brown said. “Tesla seems to have an advantage with its experience and knowledge on batteries. I hope they’re successful because I think (Musk) is a real visionary and they do build a good product.”

Nationwide, other large haulers, including Wal-Mart, Loblaws supermarket chain and JK Moving Services, reserved Tesla Semis as well. They have nothing to lose since the $5,000 reservation fee will be refunded if the company doesn’t deliver on its promises.

On Wednesday, Tesla increased the “base reservation” fee to $20,000 and announced that the trucks would cost $150,000 to $200,000 — a price range Brown said would likely motivate him to invest heavily in the vehicles.

But Tesla has a lot of competition. Daimler, Volvo, BYD Auto Co., U.S. Hybrid, Toyota, Transpower New Zealand and others are developing zero- and near-zero-emissions heavy-duty trucks. And diesel truck engines are cleaner than ever, as producers fit them with strong filters to meet government clean-air mandates.

“Tesla is entering a crowded field, as many major truck and truck engine manufacturers are developing electric trucks,” said Genevieve Giuliano, director of USC’s METRANS Transportation Center, which works to study and solve the region’s transportation problems. “We haven’t seen any demos, and there are no prototypes in service (in contrast to the other manufacturers). We have no information on the size of the batteries or the weight of the truck. Thus, at this point, we simply have a claim from Tesla.”

The Harbor Trucking Association, a coalition of cargo haulers in and around the ports, also has sought a demonstration of the new truck.

“There’s a tremendous amount of interest in the industry,” said Weston LaBar, executive director of the trucking association. “I think everybody would like to get a better understanding of what the price tag is going to be, and they would like to know that the 2019 date is going to be a solid launch time frame.”

Officials from the Port of Long Beach met with Tesla engineers recently to learn how the truck’s technology compares to hybrid, natural gas and other low-emissions vehicles on the market.

“I think the product that they have released, with the type of range they’re talking about and the capabilities, really highlights what’s possible with these type of trucks,” said Heather Tomley, environmental planning director for the Port of Long Beach.

“The program we laid out in the Clean Air Action Plan provides timelines and structure to introduce cleaner trucks and technologies as they become feasible. By 2023, the goal is to get as many near-zero emissions trucks to meet regional air-quality attainment needs.”

Cannon, of the Port of Los Angeles, said Tesla’s entrance to the electric-truck market is a good sign for the ports’ efforts to reduce pollution. The twin ports are the largest fixed source of emissions in Southern California.

“We’re excited to hear when large manufacturers commit to developing this kind of technology because we believe it has a greater likelihood of success when big companies get involved,” Cannon said. “We’re especially excited by Tesla.”

Online Edition

Tesla’s flashy unveiling last week of a futuristic, electric heavy-duty truck was an eye-opener for industry experts, who are hopeful but still wonder if its game-changing features could truly be mass-produced affordably.

Nevertheless, officials at the twin ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are going along for the ride. They have met with Tesla engineers about the new Semi to offer tips and learn about its unique features.

Jul 24, 2019

This is what the automation deal means for workers at Port of LA, particularly those at its largest terminal

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Automation will soon come to the Port of Los Angeles’ largest terminal, after months of pushback from the longshore union.

Details on the tentative deal between the longshore union and APM Terminals are still unclear, but both sides have acknowledged the agreement signals an acceptance of where the shipping industry as a whole is headed.

Ray Familathe, president of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 13, on Friday, July 19, described the deal — agreed to this week — as “bittersweet.”

The ILWU, for its part, agreed to stop protesting APM’s permit to bring zero-emission and near-zero-emission automated equipment to its terminal, on Pier 400.

In exchange, APM Terminals, owned by shipping-container giant Maersk, agreed to provide 900 workers with fully paid job training, Familathe said.

Maersk spokesman Tom Boyd did not respond to requests for comment Friday, but he confirmed the general outline of the deal on Thursday.

“This focus is on reskilling and upskilling” the workers, Boyd said at the time. “Everyone is quite excited about it.”

Familathe, for his part, said 450 mechanics at Pier 400 will receive the upskill training. That will consist of teaching the workers how to operate the new automated cargo-handling equipment.

Another 450 workers, including mechanics at other terminals and longshore personnel that work out of the union’s dispatch hall, will receive reskilling training. Familathe said it’s not yet clear what that reskill training will look like.

But generally, Familathe said, upskilling would give mechanics more complex training, so they can adeptly work with the automated equipment. Reskilling would train them for other jobs.

Familathe also said he didn’t yet have details on how long the training would last.

Those aspects of the plan, he added, will be decided after the deal is finalized, which will likely happen at the next Los Angeles City Council meeting in August.

“We will be working with the employer to establish a new training facility somewhere in the Port of Los Angeles,” Familathe said, “a permanent training facility where we could conduct our classes and have the necessary equipment for the students to work on.”

In the shorter term, Familathe said, six automated straddle carriers are expected to arrive at the port next week — the first handful of 130.

About 20 mechanics will go through immediate training to commission that equipment as soon as it shows up, Familathe said.

While Familathe said he’s glad so many workers will get help to remain competitive in the industry, he’s not convinced many jobs will be saved through the deal.

“Pier 400, now, is going to eliminate about 90% of our jobs out there,” he said. “So that’s the challenge. We see an opportunity with the upskilling and reskilling of our workforce, and the new automated technologies, but the jobs that will be available in the future won’t be equal to the jobs that we’re losing.”

Familathe said he expects the automation to mean a cut in about 500 jobs a day. It’s unclear for now, he said, if any new jobs will be created.

“Initially, we’re not going to be hiring one additional mechanic,” he said. “So we’re going to have to see, in the coming months, and as this project rolls out, about these opportunities that they claim will come.”

The Pacific Maritime Association, which represents terminal operators, declined to say anything more about the deal other than the statement it issued Thursday.

But that statement, in part, said the agreement “will help longshore workers prepare for the port jobs of the future.”

Gene Seroka, executive director of the Port of Los Angeles, was “pleased” with the deal, which he said benefits both ILWU and APM.

“If finalized,” Seroka said in a Thursday night statement, “this would be a major step forward in securing the future of work at the port complex for years to come.”

APM’s permit has been the focus of controversy and multiple protests in recent months, reaching such a boiling point that Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti stepped in to mediate the disagreement.

After the L.A. Board of Harbor Commissioners denied a union appeal against the permit last month, the City Council then sent the decision back to the Harbor Commission.

Then, last week, the harbor commission once again affirmed the permit.

The apparent end of the tussle, though, may just be the first chapter of automation at both the L.A. port and its twin, the Port of Long Beach.

In L.A., Councilman Joe Buscaino on Thursday urged the city to create a commission to study the future of automation and jobs. His office declined further comment on Friday.

But Mario Cordero, the Long Beach port’s executive director, said in a Friday phone interview that automation is becoming more and more common in shipping. Long Beach already has automation at one terminal.

“The global trend is automation,” he said, “so I think, in the future, you’ll see this discussion and implementation of various degrees at the ports throughout the world.”

But, as has been clear in the recent strife at the L.A. Port, Cordero said, balancing the efficiency that automation can offer with the need to maintain jobs will always be a part of the conversation.

“From a port’s perspective, our main metric is increased productivity,” he said. “So, at the end of the day, I think that’s the dynamic that’s at play.

“We’ll see,” he continued, “if automation does increase productivity.”

Editor’s Note: The Port of Long Beach has one terminal with automation. Because of a reporting error, the story had the incorrect number of terminals with automation. The story has been updated to reflect the correct information. 

Online Edition

Automation will soon come to the Port of Los Angeles’ largest terminal, after months of pushback from the longshore union.

Details on the tentative deal between the longshore union and APM Terminals are still unclear, but both sides have acknowledged the agreement signals an acceptance of where the shipping industry as a whole is headed.

Ray Familathe, president of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 13, on Friday, July 19, described the deal — agreed to this week — as “bittersweet.”

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Aug 13, 2018

Toyota’s green terminal gets go-ahead from Port of Long Beach

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Port of Long Beach officials on Monday moved forward on a green terminal plan being proposed by Toyota to better serve its hydrogen-powered clean vehicle line.

The renewable energy power plant would power the private terminal that imports Toyota vehicles at the port and be designed to reduce air pollution.

A hearing held before the unanimous vote to accept and approve permitting for the plans by the Toyota Logistics Services facility drew no comments from the public.

The major renovation on the terminal would add a self-contained fuel-cell power plant and a fueling station to the Toyota Logistics Services facility at Pier B. Each would help reduce air pollution by using renewable energy and eliminating the emissions of harmful gases that could potentially drift over neighboring areas.

The project would reconfigure the facility to streamline operations and reduce on-site vehicle movement and enhance and modernize the facility for safety, seismic and environmental purposes.

Heather Tomley, director of environmental planning, gave commissioners an overview of the project and said that mitigation measures were sufficient to send the terminal plans forward.

“Fugitive dust” was among the potential impacts but studies determined that could be mitigated with increased watering on the premises, Tomley said.

There also will be safeguards in place in the event of archaeological finds on the property.

“All potentially significant impacts will be mitigated to less than significant,” she told commissioners.

The property is located in the northeast part of the Long Beach Harbor and most of the area is within the city of Long Beach. A small northwest corner of the property is located within the city of Los Angeles.

Cars are delivered by ship to the site and are then processed to be shipped via truck and train to car dealerships in the western United States.

Toyota has been producing the fuel cell cars, banking on hydrogen power automobiles becoming a bigger share of the electric vehicle market in the future.

Nearly all of the terminal’s existing facilities on 223,000 square feet would be demolished to make way for the new elements and terminal makeover.

Online Edition

Port of Long Beach officials on Monday moved forward on a green terminal plan being proposed by Toyota to better serve its hydrogen-powered clean vehicle line.

The renewable energy power plant would power the private terminal that imports Toyota vehicles at the port and be designed to reduce air pollution.

A hearing held before the unanimous vote to accept and approve permitting for the plans by the Toyota Logistics Services facility drew no comments from the public.

Nov 08, 2017

Trolly-like system for heavy-duty trucks tested near the ports of LA, Long Beach

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A new zero-emissions technology designed for freight-transport trucks is making its U.S. debut along an industrial strip in Carson, where testing is underway for future use at the ports.

The $13.5 million test system, called eHighway, connects trucks that have electric motors with an overhead system of electrified wires that guide them independently — reminiscent of a streetcar.

Unlike a trolley, however, it moves heavy-duty trucks on public roads without tracks.

It’s one of several initiatives that environmental advocates and regulators believe show promise in lowering the extensive air pollution in the dense communities around the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, which together emit 100 tons of smog daily.

The 1-mile-long test track was financed by the Port of Long Beach, LA Metro, the California Energy Commission, the South Coast Air Quality Management District, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and a nonprofit group of local environmental advocates who won a legal settlement against China Shipping for pollution in the ports area.

“We saw the potential to extend the zero-emissions range in drayage (container or freight) trucks in communities that need it the most,” said Morgan Wyenn, an attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council, which helped distribute the legal settlement over China Shipping. “We’re very proud to have given $4 million toward this project. We want the ports and the city to get on a real path to zero-emissions trucks.”

The developer of eHighway, Siemens Industry Inc., provided a public demonstration of the system on Wednesday along Alameda Street, from East Lomita Boulevard to the Dominguez Channel.

The test trucks —  an all-electric, a natural-gas hybrid-electric, and a diesel-hybrid  — glided silently along the track, surrounded by the roar of combustion-engine trucks moving cargo from the ports, rail yards, and among the many nearby industrial operations.

The track faces Andeavor’s massive refinery complex, Kinder Morgan’s oil pipeline and storage facility, and heavy diesel-truck traffic. It will remain there for about six months, while company officials test for kinks and its most efficient uses.

Besides the track, technology is connected to the trucks via large rectangular boxes behind the cabs. Sensors can detect when the overhead wires are above, and extend automated arms to connect with them. The sensors also can trigger disconnection from the wires, and reliance on the truck’s motor.

“(The technology) detects the contact lines, so it knows when the lines are above it,” said Siemens Vice President Andreas Thon. “This system is, in my opinion, the ideal solution for these heavy duty trucks.

“Americans rely on the goods and services that are carried by freight. But with that mode of transport predicted to double by 2050, only one-third of this additional travel can be handled by trains.”

The German company has already built the system in Germany and Sweden. But the U.S. poses special challenges, particularly in industrial urban areas with complex underground power lines that have to be negotiated to install the electrified overhead lines. In fact, this test was cut short from a year to six months because of a conflict with underground energy lines.

What’s more, government funding would be needed to install extensive eHighway infrastructure.

Last week, the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports approved a Clean Air Action Plan to eliminate emissions entirely by 2035.

But the technologies that will be adopted to accomplish that goal aren’t yet clear. Now, low-emission natural gas-powered freight trucks provide the best solution because they are more affordable and can be used on long-haul trips, officials said.

Trucks with electric engines likely will be first rolled out on short trips from the ports to rail yards, said Matt Miyasato, chief scientist at the South Coast Air Quality Management District, the region’s air quality watchdog.

“We’re interested in (eHighway) because it has the potential to haul containers with no emissions. We think that, in the future, we’re going to have to be very selective in the way we deploy technologies.”

Online Edition

A new zero-emissions technology designed for freight-transport trucks is making its U.S. debut along an industrial strip in Carson, where testing is underway for future use at the ports.

The $13.5 million test system, called eHighway, connects trucks that have electric motors with an overhead system of electrified wires that guide them independently — reminiscent of a streetcar.

Unlike a trolley, however, it moves heavy-duty trucks on public roads without tracks.

Feb 19, 2018

Wilmington railyard promises rewards, but Long Beach neighbors still see a polluter

Online EDition

The fate of a planned $500 million railyard next to a low-income West Long Beach neighborhood is finally coming to a head, with lawyers on both sides of a lawsuit over the project appealing to the California Supreme Court.

For decades Warren Buffett’s Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Co. has set its sights on a massive railyard in West Long Beach where cargo boxes from the nearby ports could be hitched onto a rail line that would deliver billions of dollars in goods across the country and shore up the company’s competitive edge.

Known as the the Southern California International Gateway project, the plan includes environmental perks, good-paying jobs and less pollution from cargo trucks, BNSF contends.

But Long Beach, air regulators, environmentalists and neighbors balked, contending in lawsuits filed in 2013 the 185-acre yard would actually worsen air quality. They say the project required more investigation in its environmental reports needed for approval, which the city of Los Angeles granted in 2013.

Now Long Beach, along with several other parties that originally filed suit to stop the yard, are trying to take their case to the state Supreme Court, where justices haven’t been shy in delving into the state’s notoriously stringent and complicated environmental laws.

“It’s utterly ridiculous,” said Evelyn Knight, an 84-year old resident who lives in West Long Beach. “I want them to fight this. I will continue to fight this because I care about my life and the life of those in the community and my relatives.”

The massive yard is expected to attract 1.5 million container trucks a year, about 5,500 semi-trucks daily and eight trains a day. Most big rigs are powered by diesel, the fumes that have been linked to asthma, decreased lung function in children and cancer.

“This railyard will be a magnate for dirty trucks and will increase the number of trucks,” Knight said. “Already you can’t get up and down the freeway because of all these trucks.”

Legal wrangling

Prospects for the yard seemed dim after a Superior Court judge in 2016 ordered the city of Los Angeles to set aside its environmental analysis needed to move forward, along with the proposed 50-year lease. But, last month a California appellate overruled that decision and gave both sides a partial victory.

A panel of three judges found the environmental reporting required under the California Environmental Quality Act was mostly met by BNSF with the exception of one point: how air pollution concentrations were determined. The narrower ruling, if left untouched, could force BNSF to revise their analysis, but it also cleared some of the most difficult hurdles, freeing the railroad giant of costly requirements to offset pollution.

“It’s problematic because without adequate mitigation measures, the residents of Long Beach’s westside are going to be inundated with noise and traffic problems,” said Michael Mais, Long Beach deputy city attorney.

The railyard would operate 24 hours, seven days a week. At full operation, roughly two million trucks annually would travel between the port and the facility 4 miles away, bringing an onslaught of barreling big rigs near homes and several schools.

The Los Angeles port and the rail industry looked hopeful that the most recent judgement would get them closer to building on the industrial stretch in Wilmington, on the border of Long Beach. Both released a statement after the ruling saying they were “pleased” with the judgement.

The port “stands by” the report’s “extensive and thorough analyses, as properly informing the public and decision-makers of the project’s effects under the California Environmental Quality Act,” Phillip Sanfield, the port spokesman stated. BNSF said they were weighing options.

Neither would comment further.

But the news was a blow for Long Beach and environmentalists on what they saw as one of the biggest flaws in the port’s and BNSF’s claim: that the new facility would take big rigs off the road by diverting them away from the 710 Freeway.

Truckers take that route on their way to the company’s Hobart facility in Commerce, one the largest intermodal yards in the United States. The environmental impact report done for BNSF and approved by Los Angeles stated no new traffic would be created on the 710 because of the diversion. And that would it lower overall pollution.

“That is simply factually not so,” said David Pettit, an attorney with the Natural Resource Defense Council who represents neighbors and other environmental groups.

Pettit and others have argued a second railyard would actually add more capacity and more diesel-powered, polluting trucks on the freeway.

The appeal court shot down that argument. And it’s one of the points that they are asking the Supreme Court to reconsider, along with how traffic and noise is assessed. It’s important because the more pollution that the railyard causes, the more the company must do to offset it, such as the use of electric-powered train engines and non diesel electric trucks.

So far, the company hasn’t offered enough concessions for any of the parties.

“Our clients want this project killed,” Pettit said.

But for BNSF, this project would be a windfall, allowing them to expand their extensive rail network.

“This is viewed as a national test case,” said Anthony Hatch, a railroad industry analyst.

At issue, he said, is whether a private railroad company can successfully overcome local and state environmental rules to build infrastructure that has a strategic importance for nation’s supply chain.

About 35 percent of the nation’s good are imported from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Of that a third are shipped out by rail, and officials hope that number will rise in the coming years. Both ports vowed to increase rail movement because it’s more efficient and is better for the environment.

But Hatch said if BNSF, a  premiere carrier, gets shot down, it will send a message to others looking to build capital intensive projects in the region.

“If they can’t do this, how are they going to do something else?” he asked rhetorically.

Online EDition

The fate of a planned $500 million railyard next to a low-income West Long Beach neighborhood is finally coming to a head, with lawyers on both sides of a lawsuit over the project appealing to the California Supreme Court.

Jan 05, 2005

$1 Billion environment Bond will be proposed to California; Ports

Jan 05, 2010

$100 mil wasted by Seattle Port will not be recovered

A new report from the Washington State Auditor's office finds that performance audits conducted of state agencies and local governments saves taxpayers $3.6 billion since voters approved the audits in 2005. However, the report also confirms that some of the waste found in the audits, such as nearly $100 million lost by the Port of Seattle between 2004 and 2007, will never be recovered.

A new report from the Washington State Auditor's office finds that performance audits conducted of state agencies and local governments saves taxpayers $3.6 billion since voters approved the audits in 2005. However, the report also confirms that some of the waste found in the audits, such as nearly $100 million lost by the Port of Seattle between 2004 and 2007, will never be recovered.

Aug 28, 2009

$11.3 Million for transit improvements in California

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has announces $11.3 million in ARRA funds for transit improvements in California. The following grants are being awarded:
City of Santa Maria Area Transit: $2.5 million for construction of the Santa Maria Intermodal Transit Center, three buses, and five vans. L.A.County Metropolitan Transportation Authority: $6.8 million for the Metro Red Line Subway Escalator Canopy Project. Tahoe City in CA: $2 mil for the construction of the Tahoe City Transit Center.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has announces $11.3 million in ARRA funds for transit improvements in California. The following grants are being awarded:
City of Santa Maria Area Transit: $2.5 million for construction of the Santa Maria Intermodal Transit Center, three buses, and five vans. L.A.County Metropolitan Transportation Authority: $6.8 million for the Metro Red Line Subway Escalator Canopy Project. Tahoe City in CA: $2 mil for the construction of the Tahoe City Transit Center.

Jun 11, 2014

$12.3 Billion Water Projects Bill Signed by President Obama Will

Capping a rare instance of congressional compromise, President Barack Obama signed a $12.3 billion water projects bill this week, financing improvements that would benefit the nation’s seaports, including the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach

Capping a rare instance of congressional compromise, President Barack Obama signed a $12.3 billion water projects bill this week, financing improvements that would benefit the nation’s seaports, including the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach