The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency in California has continued track improvement work on the Muni Metro system. From July 13 to July 16, SFMTA will install new track switches on the L Taraval Line between 22nd and 23rd avenues and at 35th Avenue.
U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood and California Governor Edmund Brown Jr., visited the Port of Oakland Army Base redevelopment site in California on 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 Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant funding.
The Outer Harbor Intermodal Terminal (OHIT) Rail Access project of the Port of Oakland is expected to 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 rail access for the proposed Oakland Army Base redevelopment. These federal funds, along with additional local and state funding, will support the 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 Brown.
The Port of Oakland handles 99 percent 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 Rep Barbara Lee (D-CA.). "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."
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 OHIT rail project is expected to 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 project includes building a new arrival track and high-speed turnout from Union Pacific's mainline, two track leads into the port's new Joint Intermodal Terminal and a new manifest yard (Knight Yard) to replace the former Oakland Army Base Yard. Knight Yard will be able to handle 100-150 rail cars per day.
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.
Hennepin County, Minn., broke ground on its multi-million dollar Interchange project.
The Charlotte Area Transit System in North Carolina has received approval from the Federal Transit Administration to enter Final Design for the 9.3-mile LYNX Blue Line Extension (BLE) light-rail project. This allows the project to be developed from the 65 percent to the 100 percent design level and complete preparation of final construction plans, right-of-way acquisition, construction cost estimates, bid documents and utility relocation.
The South Carolina Ports Authority is pursuing the development of an inland port in Greer, S. C., to improve the efficiency of international container movements between the Port of Charleston, the South Carolina Upstate and neighboring states.
Harsco Corporation has secured an extended role in its ongoing support of the Houston Metro light-rail project to refurbish the historic Main Street Bridge in Houston, Texas.
Watco Companies named Gary Vaughn senior vice president, regulatory rela¬tions and compliance.
Bryan Mulqueen was named the national manager of Gannett Fleming's Transit & Rail Practice. In this role, Mulqueen is responsible for maintaining the quality and consistency of the practice's work products, leading the growth of the practice and facilitating work sharing and staffing of projects. Based in the Raleigh, N.C., office, Mulqueen also serves as a vice president and project principal for a number of the firm's transit projects.
A new report issued by Amtrak summarizes and updates the ongoing planning efforts to expand capacity on the Northeast Corridor rail network to accommodate more trains operating at faster speeds with significantly reduced trip times and improved service reliability, while also developing 220 mph next generation high-speed rail.
Washington state regulators approved funds to improve the safety at two railroad crossings in Stevens County, Wash.