This $158,500,000 CY/IY project is the centerpiece of the Port of Long Beach’s Middle Harbor Program which involved connecting and upgrading two existing shipping terminals and transforming them into a single, unified and fully automated terminal. This is the first facility of its kind in North America that has been built for the use of automated container movement and is considered by the Port of Long Beach and industry officials as the most environmentally friendly terminal in the world.
The Pier E Container Yard/Intermodal Railyard, Phase 1 (CY/IY) project has already had an enormous impact on the United States. The Container Yard (CY) portion of the project includes infrastructure to support automated container handling through the use of Automatic Stacking Cranes (ASC)’s. Automatic Stacking Cranes are “gantry robots” that perform high-precision retrieval of containers efficiently and quickly. In addition to their efficient and productive performance, ASC’s also run off grid power, which results in the production of zero-emissions. The Intermodal Yard component of this project was designed to support the largest on-dock facility in the world. Once Phases 2 & 3 of this project are complete, this yard will have the ability to spot three separate 10,000-ft long unit trains and move over one million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) per year.
All stakeholders, LBCT, the City of Los Angeles, The Port of Long Beach, local residents and communities across the country should care about this project. The facility supports the objectives of the Port of Long Beach’s Green Port Policy and the San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan. Ultimately, the project will minimize or eliminate environmental impacts from shipping operations, on dock container handling, and transportation to and from the Port. This is a world-class facility utilizing the best technologies available.
Shortly after the Pier E Container Yard/Intermodal Railyard, Phase 1 (CY/IY) project was awarded, the Herzog/Reyes Joint Venture (HRJV) Project Management team and the Port of Long Beach (POLB) Construction Management team became aware of an operating oil field that existed under the site which had not been contemplated in the CY/IY project’s design, nor was it considered in the planned phasing for this project or any of the adjacent ten (10) interdependent projects. This unanticipated site condition, in conjunction with several other changes, required that a very strong Partnering relationship be developed between the Contracting Team, POLB and several third-party Stakeholders who were counting on this project’s success. The success of the CY/IY project was also crucial for ten (10) adjacent and interdependent for which CY/IY project provided various different links and components critical to those project’s success.
HRJV as the Prime Contractor, and POLB as the owner, are proud of the success that our team accomplished, a success which only could have been achieved with a fully-functioning and healthy Partnering program. This project is a prime example of how Partnering can provide the necessary backdrop in support of a construction team to overcome many difficult challenges, and this project is an example of how Partnering ultimately benefitted the Contractor, the Owner, and the end-user along with the environment and the goods-movement community. It should be noted that HRJV won the 2016 AGC Constructor Award: Excellence in Project Management (projects over $10 million) and the 2016 AGC Excellence in Partnering Award.
The Port of Long Beach, as well as HRJV, partnered in the leadership of an effective safety program which resulted in no lost time accidents. Safety leadership was demonstrated and evident at the onset and throughout the project. HRJV and POLB devoted appropriate resources, in a collaborative effort, to the important undertaking of developing a Site Specific Safety Program. The program was tailored to ensure that HRJV employees and managers supported and contributed to the mission of maintaining and improving an accident-free environment. Another impressive feature of the Program was the attention to controls which provided for modification of the plan to provide flexibility to respond to conditions as they changed. HRJV and POLB leadership continued their dedication consistently from implementation of the program, and throughout the project, by carrying out both regular and periodic reviews of the project and monitoring leading indicators.
One of the categories of hazards on this project involved excavation in and around underground pipelines which supported a third party stakeholders (Tidelands/Oxy’s) oil production operations. These hazards were not contemplated in the original contract. Unanticipated lines included high-pressure water injection lines, oil lines, communication lines and electrical lines. The high pressure water lines contained water which ran at scolding hot temperatures and in order to address these lines the Project Team used a combination of mitigation procedures including carefully identifying the precise horizontal and vertical location of the lines, various methods of protection of the lines, avoidance of the lines and, when it became necessary to work near the lines, HRJV developed mitigations so that hazards to crews and equipment could be eliminated. The financial impact (or consequential damages) to Oxy/Tidelands stopping oil production was identified to be $450,000 per calendar day. HRJV and POLB relied on its partnering process to coordinate and develop plans with Oxy/Tidelands, the HRJV Subcontractors that would be impacted, and other third party stakeholders so that construction of the facility could continue to progress while Oxy/Tidelands continued their operations without loss of production or any other financial impact.
Another hazard associated with the site was the Southern California Edison 12kv high voltage electrical power line which could not be de-energized and removed on the timeline anticipated by the contract. The SCE line needed to remain energized in order to support the operation of third party stakeholders and adjacent construction projects. HRJV, HRJV’s Subcontractors, POLB, SCE and third party stakeholders partnered a solution which included a very intensive potholing program to identify the actual depth of the line, re-design of portions of the work, and re-sequencing of activities. Ultimately HRJV and its Subcontractors were able to progress activities such as demolition and earthwork, as well as construct permanent construction features.
HRJV’s safety program included “Preparatory Meetings” which were presented by the superintendent in charge of the operation. However, these meetings were often attended by HRJV senior managers, with POLB participation in the presentation of the meetings. In addition, POLB was a frequent participant in HRJV’s daily and weekly safety meetings.
Finally, HRJV’s management held safety stand-downs immediately following near-misses. Because of the very transparent working relationship between HRJV, its Subcontractors, POLB and third party stakeholders, the safety stand-downs and near-miss investigations were very productive and served as a productive training to mitigate hazards going forward.
In order to speed up the project and reduce waste, HRJV utilized an innovative process known as roller compacted concrete. This process had never been used at a west coast Port prior to this project, and significantly cut down on project costs, duration, and ultimately, waste. It did so by recycling all demolished concrete and asphalt on site, which required 8,000 fewer truckloads than traditional concrete, greatly reducing truck-related emissions released into the atmosphere as a result. This eliminated the number of corresponding concrete trucks that would have had to travel to the site had that section been constructed with ready mix concrete by 6,000. The project schedule was accelerated due to the high volume placement capabilities of this specific material, up to 2,500 CY per day at peak production. As an added benefit, the roller compacted concrete significantly increases the lifespan of the asphalt pavement above, as it is a flexible pavement system.
In summary, the project duration, trucking emissions, costs, and waste were all reduced by the use of this new technology, which had never been done before its use at the Port of Long Beach.
Another one of the many goals of this project was to incorporate our expertise in being environmentally conscience with innovative solutions. Transforming two aging terminals into the greenest and most technologically advanced container terminal in the world was no small task. We were able to recycle, reuse, or salvage over 71 thousand tons of asphalt, 19 thousand tons of concrete, 2 thousand tons of cement treated base, and 14 thousand tons of crushed miscellaneous base. The utilization of solar panels, adding shore power for ships, and the reuse or recycle of many waste materials were just a few of the ways that we succeeded in delivering a project of the highest quality.
The Intermodal Yard component of this project was designed to support the largest on-dock facility in the world. The Intermodal Yard includes “Loading Track” and “Storage Track” as well as “Escape Tracks.” Once Phases 2 & 3 of this project are complete, this yard will have the ability to spot three separate 10,000-ft long unit trains and move over one million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) per year which is more than 20% of the entire Port of Long Beach’s annual throughput. The 316-foot wide rail-mounted gantry (RMG) cranes (which span 7 Loading Tracks), and weigh 550 tons, are the largest intermodal yard cranes in the world. They are supported on 6-foot wide by 3-foot 6-inch deep concrete crane rail foundations which were constructed to meet very tight operational tolerances. Additional state-of-the art intermodal yard features include in-ground compressed air system for train brakes, Automatic Equipment Identification (AEI) and Optical Character Recognition (OCR) train portals, worker safety halo systems remotely controlled power switches and derails, and a train-in-motion warning system.
The facility supports the objectives of the Port of Long Beach’s Green Port Policy and the San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan, the project will minimize or eliminate environmental impacts from shipping operations, on dock container handling and transportation to and from the Port. This is a world-class facility utilizing the best technologies available.
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