State Treasurer Warns Of Port Project Delays Over Fiscal Crisis

Bill Lockyer Addresses Pacific Merchant Shipping Association

by Sean Belk, Staff Writer

Before a room full of international trade executives and officials, California State Treasurer Bill Lockyer forewarned of major infrastructure projects – including the Gerald Desmond Bridge replacement project – either being delayed or halted if the state budget doesn’t pass this year.

Lockyer referred to the $950 million bridge project during an industry luncheon in mid April presented by the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association. The event at the Hyatt Regency hotel was attended by roughly 250 people connected to the maritime trade industry.

By all accounts, local, federal and state grants have already been committed for the highly lauded bridge project. The infrastructure improvement is a joint effort between the Port of Long Beach and the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), along with the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. The project, according to port officials, is slated to begin construction either later this year or early 2012. However, Lockyer said the project is “on a list – a wish list.” He added, “Maybe by 2016 it will be completed, but it’s not on any Caltrans list at the moment.”

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News In Brief

by Sean Belk, Staff Writer

• Long Beach Harbor Commissioner Mario Cordero has been confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve as a member of the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission (FMC). Cordero, who has served on the Long Beach Harbor Commission since 2003, was first recommended for appointment by President Barack Obama last year and confirmed by the senate on April 14. Cordero is expected to be sworn into his new position in Washington, D.C., in the next several weeks. The independent federal agency is responsible for “regulating the nation’s international ocean transportation for the benefit of exporters, importers and the American consumer,” according to the FMC. Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster is expected to recommend soon to the city council a replacement for Cordero on the five-member harbor commission.

• The Pacific Merchant Shipping Association is hosting a luncheon, featuring Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa as the guest speaker, on May 11 at 11:30 a.m., at the Simon’s Water Front Banquet Center, 1050 Nagoya Way, at Ports O’Call in San Pedro. Reservations for the luncheon may be made by contacting Laura Williams at 415/352-0710 or lwilliams@pmsaship.com. Cost for lunch is $35 for PMSA members and $45 for non-members.

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