The Alameda Corridor is located in southern Los Angeles County, California, running from the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles 20 miles north to downtown Los Angeles, primarily along and adjacent to Alameda Street. The project extends through or borders the cities of Vernon, Huntington Park, South Gate, Lynwood, Compton, Carson, Los Angeles, and the County of Los Angeles.

The project’s origin can be traced to October 1981, when the Ports Advisory Committee (PAC) was created by the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG). This committee was established in response to growing concerns about the ability of the ground transportation system to accommodate increasing levels of traffic in the port area. PAC members included local elected officials, as well as representatives of the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, the U.S. Navy, Army Corps of Engineers, affected railroads, trucking industry, and the Los Angeles County Transportation Commission (LACTC).

The first phase of the PAC’s study, completed in 1982, dealt with the problems of highway access to the ports. In this phase, the PAC addressed a number of problem areas and recommended a cost-effective set of highway improvements, including the widening of certain streets. The second phase, a study of rail access, was completed in 1984. Additional highway improvements were recommended, but the focus of the second phase was concern over the impact of projected train traffic on communities north of the ports. Three routing alternatives were evaluated and the results of the analysis indicated that consolidating all trains on an up-graded Southern Pacific San Pedro Branch right-of-way would be the most cost-effective alternative.

To pursue this objective, in February 1985 SCAG created the Alameda Corridor Task Force (ACTF), whose membership was similar to that of PAC, with the addition of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and each of the cities along the corridor. The need for the project was further confirmed by the Consolidated Rail Corridor Strategic Plan published by the two ports in November 1988. The ACTF concluded that a Joint Powers Authority should be created to have design and construction responsibility for the Alameda Corridor, and the Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority (ACTA) was created in August of 1989.