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May16, 2016

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Page 44 of 63 THE JOURNAL OF COMMERCE 45 Alabama State Port Authority THE PORT OF MOBILE WHERE Southern comfort AND GLOBAL TRADE collide. AND units, generally ranks among the top seven or eight U.S. ports. Its container traffic declined 4.9 percent last year because of cargo diversion that affl icted all West Coast ports during the contentious coastwide longshore contract negotiations. Completion of the port railyard as part of the Oakland Army Base redevelopment proj- ect sets the stage for warehouse and logistics facilities that are projected to eventually total 2 million square feet. The rail project allows bulk and intermodal unit trains with up to 200 cars to pull right into the logistics complex. A new intermodal railyard also is planned as part of the Army Base rede- velopment project. Both western railroads, BNSF Railway and Union Pacifi c Railroad, have operations at the port and will serve the logistics complex. Oakland, like other rail-dependent West Coast ports, generates a large volume of rail and truck traffi c, and the two modes can interfere with each other in a busy port com- plex. Oakland's 7th Street grade-separation project, which will begin construction next year, will help to correct that problem for the benefi t of the entire harbor, said Chris Chan, the port's director of engineering. Projects such as the 7th Street grade separation bring benefi ts to the Oakland community and the freight transportation industry, so they're funded in a public-private partnership arrangement, he said. Working closely with nearby com- munities to mitigate the impact of freight transportation is more important than ever now that mega-ships with capacities of as much as 18,000 TEUs have become frequent callers at the Port of Oakland, according to the Alameda County Goods Movement Plan released in February by the Alameda County Transportation Commission. As a result, grade separation projects serve the dual purpose of improving freight fl uidity at the port while allowing greater access to unit trains that eliminate hundreds of truck trips throughout the region. R e d e v e l o p m e n t o f t h e O a k - land Army Base will take a decade or longer. Meanwhile, the port authority is moving aggressively to modernize its cargo- handling facilities so they are big-ship friendly. The port's mega-ship efforts have been underway for at least 15 years with the deepening of the harbor to 50 feet and the merging of small, adjacent container termi- nals into fewer, but larger terminals better

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