Oakland, CA - May 8, 2006 - The Port of Oakland praised legislative leaders and the Governor today for their work in passing a major infrastructure financing package that will direct billions of dollars to improve traffic congestion, build and modernize public schools, shore up the state's levee system and provide affordable housing to lower-income families.
A large portion of the transportation funding proposed in this legislation is dedicated to help California’s ports and airports and the connecting highways, rail lines and transit systems to continue moving people and goods quickly, reliably and safely.
“We commend the strong leadership of Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata, Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, Senate Republican Leader Dick Ackerman, Assembly Republican Leader George Plescia, as well as our Governor,” said Oakland Board of Port Commissioners President, Kenneth Katzoff. “We are pleased that this bond package not only contains funding for critical infrastructure projects, but also significant funding for environmental solutions to address the impacts of increased goods movement activity in our state.”
The Port of Oakland has identified over $500 million in projects, both near the Port and at gateways connecting critical goods movement corridors with the rest of the country that could benefit from infrastructure bond funding. Priority projects include:
- Reconstruction of a rail over crossing and grade separation at a critical intersection located at the center of the Port of Oakland’s maritime area
- Building a rail transfer facility at the site of the former Oakland Army Base
- Completing the funding package for an automated people-mover to run between the Oakland Coliseum BART station and Oakland International Airport
- Cooperation with the Port’s rail partners to construct a second track and raise tunnel clearances over Donner Pass for container trains linking California with the rest of the country
“We thank Senator Perata for his continued leadership and commitment in the area of transportation and goods movement. He has always recognized the critical role of the Port of Oakland in California’s economy,” said Port of Oakland Executive Director Jerry Bridges. “We’ve been working with Senator Perata since 2000 to provide state support for essential goods movement projects.”
Waterborne commerce through California ports accounts for 43% of the country’s total. However, volume through California ports has increased five times faster than corresponding growth in infrastructure.
The nearly $36 billion infrastructure package includes four general obligation bond proposals to be submitted to the voters on the November 7, 2006, statewide general election. The package includes: $19.9 billion for roads and transit projects; $4.1 billion for flood control; $10.4 billion for school and university buildings; and $2.85 billion for affordable housing projects.
“While our elected officials invest in California’s infrastructure, we too are investing in our infrastructure at the Port of Oakland,” said Katzoff. “Together, we hope to boost the regional and national economy, while at the same time, provide benefits to the local communities that we serve.”
Port of Oakland
Director of Communications
Government Relations Manager