Reducing congestion and greenhouse emissions is a priority for everyone at the U.S. Department of Transportation. At the Maritime Administration, we're doing our part by supporting the development of marine highways, which move cargo and passenger traffic from roadways to waterways.
Last week, I attended a groundbreaking for the California Green Trade Corridor, a marine highway project that will move goods from Stockton and West Sacramento to Oakland. Because freight traveling through the state is moved almost exclusively by truck or rail, the new waterway system will create transportation alternatives and reduce congestion and air emissions.
Thanks to the Recovery Act, the $30 million TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) project will:
- Construct a cargo staging area and purchase two cranes and a barge to support service at the Port of Stockton;
- Build a distribution center and purchase a crane in West Sacramento where freight, mostly agriculture from California’s Central Valley, can be re-packed into larger containers for transport on water; and
- Install power stations in the Port of Oakland, which will allow operators to shut down a ship's engines while in port, reducing air emissions.
The California Green Trade Corridor is part of America's Marine Highway program. Nationwide, 18 rivers and coastal routes have been identified to participate.
Everyone at MARAD and DOT is encouraged by the steps we're taking to make marine highways a reality in the U.S. There's no doubt that California--and the rest of the country--will benefit from these investments in our transportation system.