A report issued by LA city budget analysts revealed that construction costs for a port terminal upgrade soared from the $245 million approved by the LA City Council in 2009 to an unseasonable $510 million. Both Councilmember Joe Buscaino and port officials agreed that the problem stemmed from builders not asking for amendments to the project sooner and the port commission dismissing the changes as inconsequential. One particular change included the installation of rail-mounted container cranes instead of rubber-tired cranes. As a means to formally incorporate the latest project changes and to control future costs, city staff will consider amending the lease made with future terminal operator TraPac. The city expects to receive $2.3 billion over the life of the lease. The City Council has since approved the changes, much to their chagrin.
Meanwhile, progress continues on the new bridge that will replace the outdated Gerald Desmond Bridge in Long Beach. It doesn’t feel that way since much of the construction is occurring well away from prying eyes. Unbeknownst to most, Terminal Island mainly consists of fill, which has sunk over the years on account of oil extraction. Currently, workers are capping oil wells and relocating utilities at the site of the future bridge, which has increased project costs by $240 million.