California port to get new cargo inspection facility

| 6/27/2006

When a suspicious container is discovered at the Los Angeles-Long Beach port complex in California, it is placed on a truck and hauled to a warehouse in Carson, which is several miles north of the complex.

Trucks have to haul the questionable cargo through several miles of densely populated area, with drivers not knowing whether they are carrying containers loaded with explosives or other hazardous materials.

But port officials are working to change that. According to a news release, they awarded a contract to design a new container inspection facility on Terminal Island, which is part of the port complex.

The contract was awarded to URS Corp., a global engineering and design firm based in San Francisco.

The facility will cost an estimated $73.8 million to $90.8 million, part of which will be paid for with grant money from the Department of Homeland Security.

According to the news release, $4 million in grants have been awarded thus far. The port officials said they hope to secure more federal money as the project moves forward. No timeline has been announced for the design phase of the project.