LOS ANGELES COUNTY - The public agency building the Alameda Corridor rail cargo expressway will work with local governments to enhance economic development and encourage other regional transportation improvements, under a plan approved Thursday.
The Governing Board of the Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority (ACTA) emphasized that the agency's primary objective remains building the corridor on time and on budget, safely and with minimum disruptions to residents and businesses.
But in approving a development strategy for the next three years, the board also pledged to assist local governments with other efforts that will - like the Alameda Corridor itself - benefit the entire region by capitalizing on international trade.
"The legacy of the Alameda Corridor will be greater than construction of the rail cargo expressway itself," said Los Angeles City Councilman Rudy
Svorinich, Jr., the ACTA board chairman. "Using the corridor as a catalyst, we will help improve our regional transportation system and attract job- and revenue-producing businesses to the area."
Added ACTA CEO James C. Hankla: "The Alameda Corridor is the region's anchor transportation project. We intend to capitalize on our unique position by laying the foundation for other transportation improvements and long-term economic revitalization that will continue to position our region for leadership in international trade and commerce, benefiting all residents and businesses."
ACTA - a joint powers agency involving the cities and ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles - is building a railroad freight expressway linking the ports to the transcontinental rail yards just east of downtown Los Angeles. The $2.4-billion project will speed the shipment of cargo and improve the flow of rail and vehicle traffic by consolidating rail lines and eliminating more than 200 street-level railroad crossings. Construction is scheduled for completion in early 2002.
With project financing complete and construction under way, the Governing Board sought a plan that would set goals and objectives for the next three years.
The plan - titled "A Development Strategy for the 21st Century" -- notes that ACTA's priority is to build the corridor on time and on budget while minimizing disruptions to residents and businesses.
But it also calls on ACTA to continue existing business outreach and job-training and development programs in the Corridor Plan Area. In addition, the Los Angeles County Community Development Commission, with assistance from ACTA and Corridor-area cities, will work to:
Analyze the types of parcels and buildings needed by industry clusters drawn to the Corridor Plan Area.
Develop a marketing strategy to attract investors to the Corridor Plan Area.
Assess the potential of an Alameda Corridor Development Authority to pursue appropriate legislation and funding.
ACTA also will seek an agreement with the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation to complement these activities.
In addition, the plan calls for ACTA to "legislatively support efforts that will lead to other regional transportation improvements that will be funded by organizations other than ACTA."
For example, ACTA will:
Pursue legislation to fund regional transportation improvements, such as freeway and roadway projects that facilitate the movement of cargo and ease traffic congestion.
Support efforts by the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments to secure funding for a rail cargo expressway planned in that area.
Participate in various Southern California Association of Governments panels studying ways to improve transportation in the region.