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Port of San Diego Celebrates $24-Million Modernization Project

January 23, 2018

By Andrea Lopez-Villafaña

City and Port of San Diego officials gathered on Tuesday, Jan. 23, to celebrate a modernization project and to participate in breaking down one of the walls of a warehouse that is to be demolished.

The Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal Modernization is phase one of a $24-million redevelopment project, which includes tearing down one of the warehouses on the terminal that is no longer used.

According to Board of Port Commissioners Chairman Rafael Castellanos, the terminal, which focuses on specialty cargo, will have more space to efficiently move cargo as a result of the modernization project and allow the Port to be more competitive.

The Port of San Diego is one of 17 strategic commercial ports in the nation.

“This will give us much more open space, it will allow us to be much more efficient in our operations and make us more competitive,” Castellanos said. “At the same time we’ll be making some improvements that will make the terminal cleaner, more efficient, and more electric equipment.”

The project is a local and federal investment with $14 million in funds from the Port of San Diego and $10 million from the Transport Investment Generating Economic Recovery or TIGER grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The modernization and redevelopment project will increase the cargo capacity by 400 percent, lower air pollution for the community of Barrio Logan, which is located as the footsteps of the terminal, and create over 500 new jobs when completed, according to Castellanos.

The project has long been in the making, however it has changed from its original version due to concerns about the effect it would have on the community of Barrio Logan, which has been identified by the California Environmental Protection Agency screening tool as being in the top worst 5 percent of neighborhoods that suffer from cumulative impacts of pollution.

San Diego Councilman David Alvarez, who has represented the community for seven years, emphasized the how the port has engaged in a positive way with the community.

“The Tenth Avenue Terminal is pivotal certainly for our economic region, but its really important to the community that is right outside these gates, the community of Barrio Logan,” Alvarez said.

He also added that it is important not to forget how Barrio Logan is burdened with pollution but that the project demonstrates how the Port takes that issue seriously.

“The stewardship that is needed and that this project demonstrates, is going to really change the future of Barrio Logan,” Alvarez said. “What we do outside these door obviously impacts the community and the future and the opportunities that exist for the people of Barrio Logan but what happens inside is also impactful.”

Castellanos said the Port heard the concerns of the community and worked with them by lowering the size of the project and agreeing to invest in electric equipment to keep air pollution and noise down.

The Port will offer incentives for Port tenets to deploy clean vessels, trucks, and they recently began a project with SDG&E to install 30 charging stations, Castellanos said.

“We are creating a Tesla of a marine cargo terminal,” he said.

Those in attendance included U.S Representative Scott Peters, City of San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, Working Waterfront Group Co-chair Dennis Dubard, and International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 29 President Anthony Soniga.

Work officially began in December 2017 but the celebration event was held to engage federal, state, and local stakeholders, according to a Port of San Diego press release.

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