Oil Relocation Work at Port of Long Beach for Pier B Rail Project is Public Work Requiring Payment of Prevailing Wages

June 25, 2024

Aerial View Of Cargo Containers In Long Beach Port California USA

In November 2023 the Port of Long Beach announced that after more than 15 years of planning, the Port of Long Beach is going out to bid in early 2024 for its first construction contract to begin building the Pier B On-Dock Rail Support Facility. The $1.567 billion state-of-the-art facility will be built in phases with the final segment due to be completed in 2032.

The new facility will more than double the size of the existing Pier B rail yard and more than triple the volume of on-dock rail cargo the Port can handle.

The program will be built through 10 projects, starting with the rail yard’s East Expansion. The Port plans to solicit bids for this first segment during the first quarter of 2024 and start construction in the fall. Before year’s end, the Port also expects to seek construction bids on the locomotive facility, then begin construction in 2025.

During construction, the Pier B On-Dock Rail Support Facility is expected to create an estimated 1,135 jobs.

Most of the $1.567 billion price tag will be construction. Pre-construction tasks also include planning for relocating utilities, securing needed rights-of-way, and obtaining other authorizations such as permits and environmental approvals from other agencies.

The Pier B project will require significant work abandoning and relocating oil fields within the Port of Long Beach.

The Oil Field Relocation Project for the Pier B project involves oil well abandonments and relocations of existing wells and drilling new wells.  In March 2023 the State of California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) ruled that the oil field relocation work is public work requiring payment of prevailing wages. The work involves removal of well casings and permanent sealing by placing cement in the wellbore with associated pressure testing.  Among the workers and equipment needed for the abandonment work is a workover rig and crew, cement truck, vacuum truck, tubing and casing handling equipment, casing laydown equipment and crew, and a welder.

This means that all workers on the Pier B Oil Field Relocation Project will be protected by California’s public works law requiring contractors to pay prevailing wage rates set by the State of California. Prevailing wage rates are set by the State of California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) for specific job classifications such as Operating Engineer, Welder, Laborer, Electrician, Plumber, HVAC, Cement Mason, Ironworker, Roofer, and others. Contractors must pay the Total Hourly Rate set by the DIR and required for the job classification performed. Under California law unpaid construction workers, including oil rig workers on the Pier B Oil Field Relocation Project, may bring a civil action to enforce the prevailing wage law.

If you are a worker on Pier B On-Dock Rail Support Facility, including the Pier B Oil Field Relocation Project and have questions regarding your work or your rate of pay contact attorneys at Donahoo & Associates, PC for a free consultation.

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