Port of San Diego officials celebrated breaking ground Tuesday on a redevelopment project worth $24 million at the 10th Avenue Marine Terminal.
“This whole warehouse behind me that was built in the 1950s—we’re going to tear it down and create a bunch of new lay down space," Port of San Diego Chairman Rafael Castellanos told NBC 7.
As part of a long-term, market-driven plan, the modernization project will increase cargo capacity by 400 percent, Port officials said.
“This will make us more competitive and will also lower air pollution because we’re going to use a lot of new technology, and it will create over 500 great jobs," explained Castellanos.
In the first phase, an old transit shed will be demolished. Officials said the scheduled work includes improvements on earthwork, utilities, site lighting and pavement. There will also be 7,200 square feet of new buildings to provide office space and restrooms, along with on-dock rail improvements, according to the Port of San Diego.
Mayor Kevin Faulconer, Congressman Scott Peters (D-52) and Councilman David Alvarez were among the local leaders who attended the celebration.
“We are showing other regions across, not just the state, but the country of how we grow jobs, how we protect our environment, and that’s part of our DNA here in San Diego," Faulconer said while speaking at the event.
The project is focused on expanding the terminal as a vital, global gateway for imports and exports. Port officials said the redevelopment plan includes three distinct cargo nodes. The upgraded terminal will include break-bulk cargo such as military equipment, wind energy parts, shipbuilding steel and vehicles.
Funding for the redevelopment plan came from a $10 million TIGER grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation. Officials said the Port will match the grant with a $14 million contribution, combining for a total budget of $24 million.
“We’re very fortunate to get a $10 million federal grant from the department of transportation," added Castellanos. "Very competitive process. We beat out of dozens of other ports across the country.”
Visit the Port of San Diego's website for a map of the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal. Port officials said they expect to complete the project's first phase within a year.