Alameda Corridor: A Blueprint for Future?
Summary and Observations of the USC/CSULB Metrans Transportation Center and the
USC Keston Institute for Public Finance and Infrastructure Policy Joint Conference
February 10, 2004
School of Policy, Planning and Development
University of Southern California
The Alameda Corridor is a twenty mile long rail cargo expressway
linking the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to the transcontinental
rail line near Downtown Los Angeles. Built at a total cost of approximately
$2.4 billion, the project commenced commercial operations in April
2002. The project is among the few public infrastructure projects
built in recent years that opened on time and within budget.
The USC/CSULB Metrans Transportation Center and the USC Keston
Institute for Infrastructure co-organized a half day conference
to reflect on the reasons behind successful completion of the Alameda
Corridor and to consider whether the Alameda Corridor might provide
a blueprint for future major infrastructure projects. Motivation
for the conference comes from the successful public-private partnerships
and the innovative financing model that evolved during conception
and building of the project. The conference was attended by researchers
and representatives from the Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority
(ACTA), Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, USDOT, State, Regional
and local public agencies, railroads, and academic institutions
The conference brought forth several important suggestions regarding
the institutional structure and assembly of finances needed for
putting together large public infrastructure projects. It also
raised several unanswered questions. The conference highlighted
the need for both careful, in-depth research on the Alameda Corridor
as well as a better understanding of the economics of goods movement
associated with the ports.
The Conference actually dealt with three questions:
1) How did the Alameda Corridor manage to be built on time
and within budget?
2) How is the Alameda Corridor performing with respect to
revenues and container volumes?
3) Is it a blueprint for future major infrastructure projects?
The remainder of this summary is organized around these three