The Port of Oakland applauded the California Transportation Commission (CTC) for adopting the Trade Corridor Improvement Fund (TCIF) program. President of the Oakland Board of Port Commissioners Anthony Batarse said, ‘We commend the CTC for their outstanding work. This was a collaborative effort that will improve goods movement in California.’

All five of the Port of Oakland priority projects that are critical to goods movement in Northern California received a total of $456 million.

Port of Oakland Executive Director Omar Benjamin said, ‘This is excellent news. The TCIF Program has been heralded by transportation agencies throughout California. The CTC worked hard to address the statewide system of goods movement and has done so. Improving rail infrastructure will allow more freight to move by rail rather than trucks. That will help reduce congestion and promote a better environment for our community, California and beyond.’

Part of the long-term solution to preventing congestion in Oakland is improving rail access. The Port has been working with regional and state planning agencies including the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and its rail partners - Union Pacific and BNSF - to develop five backbone projects that are essential to goods movement if the Port of Oakland is to handle the anticipated increase in intermodal cargo by 2020.

The following projects are slated to receive funds:

  • 7th Street Grade Separation and Roadway Improvement: Rebuilds and enlarges grade-separated rail crossings at the heart of the Port to allow uninterrupted flow of goods by truck and rail at the Port. $175 M
  • Outer Harbor Intermodal Terminal: Extends Port intermodal facilities (rail) onto land at the former Oakland Army Base, allowing the railroads to load and unload containers more efficiently. The project also relieves congestion on rail main lines adjacent to the Port. This would allow for the ability to build longer trains to move more cargo. $110M
  • Martinez Subdivision Rail Improvements: Phase I reduces congestion and expands capacity along this critical approach to the Port. Passenger and freight trains sharing the existing two main line tracks routinely encounter delays along this stretch. $74M
  • Donner Summit Rail Improvements: This project will shorten the movement of containers to and from Oakland by approximately one day, by allowing double stacked trains to take this shorter route across the Sierra Nevada. Rail congestion will be reduced by restoring double tracking over the summit. $43 M
  • Tehachapi Trade Corridor Rail Improvements: This project will reduce train delays and expand the capacity of this critical rail gateway connecting Northern California to Southern California and the rest of the country. $54 M

Over the next several months, the Port and the railroads will be working with the CTC and the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency to put into place Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) for all of these projects. In addition, the Port of Oakland will be working with the State Legislature to help ensure that they appropriate funding for these critical projects. The Port of Oakland will also be conducting outreach meetings with impacted communities and additional environmental analysis as the process moves forward.

Omar Benjamin added, ‘This critical funding for improving rail will deliver jobs, economic vitality and environmental benefits for our region. It is fundamental that we move goods more sustainably and rail is key to that success.’