Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Federal grant for Port’s first phase rail project to boost regional economy

Yesterday the US Secretary of Transportation and the CA Governor marked the awarding of a $15 million federal grant for a Port of Oakland rail project. Check out the photos and story below!
California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. (left at podium) and Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood (right of podium) - in background on the left - Port Commission President Pamela Calloway - and on the right Port Director of External Affairs Isaac Kos-Read all announce the awarding of the TIGER IV grant to the Port of Oakland.

Check out the story, taken from the Port of Oakland’s Press Release below:

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood and California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.  Mark $15 Million Federal TIGER Grant for Port of Oakland Army Base Redevelopment Project
Federal grant for Port’s first phase rail project to boost regional economy

Oakland, Calif. — July 9, 2012 — US Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood and California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. visited the Port of Oakland Army Base redevelopment site Monday, July 9, 2012 to see where the Port will be constructing the first phase of its rail project that received $15 million in federal TIGER grant funding. The $15 million is from the fourth round of the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant program (FY2012).

The Outer Harbor Intermodal Terminal (OHIT) Rail Access project of the Port of Oakland will improve rail access to and from the Port and expand the Port’s rail capacity, leading to faster and cleaner goods movement in Northern California, while also providing vital rail access for the proposed Oakland Army Base redevelopment. These federal funds, along with additional local and state funding, will support this critical transportation project.

“This $15 million grant from the federal government boosts state and local efforts to create thousands of jobs by investing nearly $1.5 billion in Bay Area transportation projects. We’re not just rebuilding our infrastructure – we are also rebuilding our middle class,” stated Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.

The Port of Oakland handles 99% of all containerized goods in Northern California and is the only major U.S. West Coast container port that handles more exports than imports.

“I am very pleased this federal funding we fought for is coming to the Port of Oakland, where it will create jobs and make important infrastructure improvements.  The Port of Oakland’s ship-to-rail exchange project is an excellent investment of federal funds in local and national economies because it both creates jobs and it improves critical public infrastructure in the Bay Area,” said Congresswoman Barbara Lee.  “This $15 million TIGER grant for the Port of Oakland is a clear example of the success of the TIGER grant program and why we must preserve and protect TIGER grants from efforts to end the funding.”

Agriculture represents approximately 40% of the total value of exports through the Port of Oakland, which is the premier export seaport for California agricultural products from the wine country to the Central Valley.

The federal funding will be matched more than one-to-one to launch the first phase of the OHIT Rail Access project, which is part of the joint City-Port OAB redevelopment plan.

“This grant is another giant step forward toward implementing a transformative project at the Port of Oakland which will translate into thousands of jobs for our city and will spur economic growth for generations to come.  We are grateful to Secretary Ray LaHood, the Obama Administration and Congresswoman Lee for their leadership in creating jobs,” stated Mayor Jean Quan.  “The TIGER grant-funded Rail Access project provides a critical link between the new logistics center and the existing port infrastructure making Oakland one of the most efficient ports in the nation.”
This OHIT rail project will deliver greater efficiencies in the Port of Oakland’s rail operations, create additional capacity for cargo movement at the seaport, reduce congestion on local roads and highways, create jobs, and promote sustainable economic growth in the region.
The combined City of Oakland redevelopment and the Port’s first phase rail access project on the former Oakland Army Base property is approximately a $500 million investment.  The Port of Oakland is one of only six U.S. ports with a 50-foot deep harbor that can accommodate large container ships.

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