For the past three and a half years, the Obama Administration has remained committed to investing in our maritime ports in order to modernize their infrastructure, keep goods moving freely and efficiently, and create jobs. In fact, for the first time in decades, this President has put maritime transportation on an equal footing with other ways of moving the goods that fuel our economy.
And DOT has demonstrated this commitment through all four rounds of our TIGER program with more than $339 million in grants to support 24 port projects.
One such project is the Port of Oakland, which I had the opportunity to visit with California Governor Jerry Brown yesterday. A $15 million TIGER grant from DOT will help boost rail access and capacity at this leading trade gateway.
That money will go toward laying 6,000 feet of new arrival track, improving access to the port’s new Joint Intermodal Terminal, and building a new manifest yard capable of handling 100 to 150 rail cars each day.
The port is also one of the nation’s designated Strategic Ports, a critical link in supporting our military forces overseas.
Simply put, we are dramatically improving the port to reduce costly freight delays and improve our ability to move goods from train to ship and ship to train.
We have already awarded $30 million in Recovery Act dollars to build the new California Green Trade Corridor, an environmentally friendly marine highway project that will move goods back and forth between the inland ports of Stockton and West Sacramento and the international access of Oakland.
Investments like this are important in supporting the President’s national initiative to double our exports by the year 2015.
All of these improvements will also help revitalize Oakland’s working waterfront and take us one step closer to redeveloping the Oakland Army Base.
The Port of Oakland is just one example of how President Obama and DOT are working to make America's ports the best in the world. By continuing to work with the maritime industry and make crucial infrastructure investments, we're keeping our port communities prosperous for generations to come.