Central Valley ports share in $30 Million in stimulus money
February 18, 2010
• Oakland gets lion’s share, but some goes to Stockton and West Sac
• ‘The project is expected to create a significant number of jobs’
A ship is docked at the Port of Stockton (CVBT file photo)
The Central Valley inland seaports of Stockton and West Sacramento along with the Port of Oakland will collectively receive $30 million in grant funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, says U.S. Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Pleasanton.
The Port of Stockton, in partnership with the ports of Oakland and West Sacramento, plans to use the money to create a “marine highway” that will be used to transport cargo via barge between the three ports.
The creation of the system will promote economic activity in the Central Valley, create new construction and operational jobs, and relieve traffic along major transportation corridors, the congressman says.
“I’m thrilled that the Port of Stockton, along with the ports of Oakland and West Sacramento will together receive $30 million in grant funds,” says Mr. McNerney. “The project is expected to create a significant number of jobs, increase economic activity, and relieve congestion along heavily traveled transportation corridors. At a time when unemployment is above 17 percent in San Joaquin County, the establishment of a “marine highway” to the Port of Stockton will help get people back to work and increase economic activity for San Joaquin County and our region.”
“This funding will create immediate construction jobs for project development as well as long-term jobs through the operational phases of the project,” says Port of Stockton Director Rick Aschieris. “The grant will also significantly increase the ability of the Port to handle new cargo in the future and continue to expand economic activity in our region.”
“This is a great project for the Port and Northern California,” says Mike McGowan, chairman of the Sacramento-Yolo Port District Commission. “Adding containers to the cargo we can handle will produce significant economic and environmental benefits for our region, and we look forward to implementing this exciting new service with Oakland and Stockton as soon as possible.”
The Port of West Sacramento will use a portion of the funding to construct a crane and other facilities needed for handling container cargo. Since its opening in 1963, the port has exported and imported only bulk cargo, such as agricultural projects and construction materials.
The partnership hopes to have service underway by the end of this year.