The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration has announced the opening Marine Highway M-580, also known as the California Green Trade Corridor, to help take freight traffic off of the state’s congested Interstate 580.
The program offers shippers an option to move cargo along the waterways connecting the Port of Oakland and the inland ports of Sacramento and Stockton, Calif. It is anticipated that running two barges per week between Oakland and Stockton will eliminate approximately 200 trucks per day from the highway, which runs parallel to M-580. When the corridor is fully operational, it is expected that barges will make three roundtrips up and down the corridor per week.
The initiative received a $30 million grant from DOT in 2010, as part of the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery program, as well as $5 million from local sources.
“This $30 million investment in public infrastructure is an important part of President Obama’s national initiative to double America’s exports by 2015,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, in a written statement. “This Marine Highway will help get cargo off the highways and onto our waterways, improving traffic on our roads while providing an efficient, environmentally friendly option within our freight system.”
“The Green Trade Corridor is a win-win solution for Northern California and the millions of Americans and businesses who rely on it to send and receive goods,” added Paul N. Jaenichen, Marad administrator.