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Alameda Rail Corridor Impact

August 27, 1995

Kofi Sefa-Boakye (Commentary, Aug. 21) sees great benefits accruing to the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach in their development of the Alameda Corridor, while the poorer inland cities will suffer economic and quality-of-life setbacks.

These ports have shown spectacular growth over the past years and have now become the two largest ports in the United States. This growth did not come about overnight, nor did freeway gridlock or lengthy traffic delays at rail crossings on major highways. Rail lines serving these ports have been operating in much the same way for well over 75 years and, without the development of the Alameda Corridor, will continue operating in the same manner for many years to come. The only hope of alleviating freeway gridlock and eliminating traffic delays at rail and highway crossings is the Alameda Corridor project.

The potential benefits of this project to the hundreds of thousands of freeway users and those people traveling east and west on streets and highways with rail crossings are immense. Sefa-Boakye's projections of 50,000 trucks and 99 trains per day attest to this.

The actual benefit to the ports is that it will accelerate cargo shipments from the harbor area to Downtown Los Angeles. Could the ports survive without the corridor? Judging from their tremendous growth and success over the past decade, one would certainly say yes. The ports have already paid approximately $400 million to purchase the rights of way from all three rail lines serving the ports and have the undisputed right to continue operating these lines as they have been for many years.

Sefa-Boakye failed to mention that the ports agreed to run almost 10 miles of the corridor rail line in a trench almost 30 feet below ground level through his city and three others for environmental mitigation at a cost which is expected to add almost $300 million to the total project. And yet, he states the ports must channel additional money for economic revitalization and infrastructure improvements into the "impoverished corridor communities."

DAVID L. HAUSER

Former Member, Alameda Corridor

Transportation Authority and

Long Beach Harbor Commission

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