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LONG BEACH (CBS) — Groundbreaking began Monday on a $1.2 billion project at the Port of Long Beach.

The Middle Harbor Redevelopment Project will combine two outdated container terminals and create as many as 14,000 permanent jobs.

“Infrastructure has to be updated; we have to give good value to customers otherwise they’ll pick other gateways,” Port of Long Beach Executive Director Chris Lytle told CBS2.

Orient Overseas container line and the port have signed a $4.6 billion, 40-year lease for the new 305-acre Middle Harbor terminal, which will be able to house the world’s largest ships.

Eventually, the port will be able to accommodate vessels the length of three football fields, which is expected to double the amount of cargo. Officials say twice the amount of containers that pass through the port could double the amount of trucks, drivers and warehouse employees.

The project, which is expected to take 10 years to complete, is also designed to cut pollution in half.

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