Thursday, October 28, 2010

Northern California Ports Break Ground On Marine Highway Barge Project

Officials from the Northern California ports of Oakland, Stockton, and West Sacramento broke ground Tuesday on a $30 million project that seeks to ease local highway congestion and reduce goods-movement pollution.

The California Green Trade Corridor, when completed in early 2012, will see containers arrive at the inland Stockton and West Sacramento ports and then be transported more than 75 miles to the Port of Oakland via river barge instead of by trucks over area highways. Each barge will take the place of more than 300 truck trips.

The project is one of 18 so-called marine highway projects being supported by the federal Transportation Investment Generating Economy Recovery, or TIGER, grant program.

Tuesday's ceremonies, also attended by state and federal officials, marked the official release of the $30 million in funds for the project.
The funds will be used for:

– $13 million for the construction of a container staging area, rail extensions and crane purchases at the Stockton port.

– $8.5 million for the construction of a distribution center and purchase of cranes at the West Sacramento port.

– $8.5 million to provide ship-to-shore power at Port of Oakland berths
Although Tuesday's ground breaking was ceremonial, port officials expect to begin the bidding process for the various components of the project within the next four to eight weeks.