The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Maritime Administration (MARAD) today dedicated the California Green Trade Corridor. The Corridor will help take freight traffic off California’s congested I-580 by offering shippers an option to move cargo along the waterways between the Ports of Oakland, Stockton and Sacramento. The project received a $30 million grant from the Department of Transportation, as well as $5 million from local sources. Acting Maritime Administrator Paul Jaenichen and state and local leaders were on hand for the dedication.
“This $30 million investment in public infrastructure is an important part of President Obama’s national initiative to double America’s exports by 2015,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “This Marine Highway will help get cargo off the highways and onto our waterways, improving traffic on our roads while providing an efficient, environmentally-friendly option within our freight system.”
Marine Highway M-580, also known as the California Green Trade Corridor, roughly parallels the I-580 corridor between California’s Central Valley and Oakland, one of the most heavily congested highways in the country. It is anticipated that running two barges per week between Oakland and Stockton will eliminate approximately 200 trucks per day from the highway. When the corridor is fully operational, it is expected that barges will make three round-trips up and down the corridor per week.
“The Green Trade Corridor is a win-win solution for Northern California and the millions of Americans and businesses who rely on it to send and receive goods,” said Jaenichen. “This new efficient and environmentally friendly transportation alternative is also creating jobs in Stockton.”
Marine highways are designated by the Secretary of Transportation and benefit the public by providing additional transportation capacity as part of the surface transportation system. America’s Marine Highway System consists of more than 29,000 nautical miles of navigable waterways including rivers, bays, channels, the Great Lakes, the Saint Lawrence Seaway System, coastal, and open-ocean routes.
Infrastructure investment and the development of our nation’s ports and waterways are among President Obama’s top priorities, and are major components of his proposal to support middle class jobs. Since 2009, the Department of Transportation has directed over $400 million in Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) funding to projects at 33 ports, large and small, inland and coastal, including $130 million for projects supporting Marine Highway services.