Trucking companies sue L.A. over railyard

By Charlie Morasch, Land Line contributing writer | Friday, June 14, 2013

Six trucking companies have filed suit against the Los Angeles Harbor Commission over a proposed rail hub that would seize the companies’ property through eminent domain.

BNSF plans to build a 153-acre rail hub about four miles from the Los Angeles Port, which could serve more than 8,000 trucks daily. BNSF plans to take cargo directly from the port to the Wilmington hub without using trucks. Proponents of the plan reportedly say it will reduce congestion on I-710.

Fast Lane Transportation sued Los Angeles over the plan in one suit, and another suit included plaintiffs California Cartage Co., Three Rivers Trucking, Los Angeles Grain Terminal, and San Pedro Forklift, according to Courthouse News.

The trucking companies reportedly claim more than 1,000 jobs will be lost if their properties are seized and turned into the railyard. They also said the plan puts small businesses “within the crosshairs of the project’s requirement that certain parcels of land be stripped from their owners and occupants to complete the necessary property to build the project,” the suit states.

The trucking companies aren’t the only ones opposing the Los Angeles plan. BNSF has already seen its plan attacked by municipal leaders in Long Beach

In May, the Long Beach City Council unanimously approved its own lawsuit against Los Angeles for the railyard, called the Southern California International Gateway.

According to a report from la.streetsblog.com, Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster and city councilmember James Johnson spearheaded a public verbal assault of the Los Angeles plan that made headlines for its acidic nature.

“It is very hard for me intellectually to accept that you value the life of a kid on this side of the city border more than you do a kid in my city,” Foster said, according to The New York Times and other reports.

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