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.