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The project received a $30m grant from the Department of Transportation, as well as $5m from local sources.
"This $30m 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. "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."
Marine Highway M-580, also known as the California Green Trade Corridor, roughly parallels the I-580 corridor between California's Central Valley and Oakland, one of the most heavily congested highways in the country. It is anticipated that running two barges per week between Oakland and Stockton will eliminate approximately 200 trucks per day from the highway. When the corridor is fully operational, it is expected that barges will make three round-trips up and down the corridor per week.
"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," said Acting Maritime Administrator Paul Jaenichen. "This new efficient and environmentally friendly transportation alternative is also creating jobs in Stockton."
America's Marine Highway System consists of more than 29,000 nautical miles of navigable waterways, including rivers, bays, channels, the Great Lakes, the Saint Lawrence Seaway System, coastal, and open-ocean routes.
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