STAFF REPORTS

State Route 132, the Gateway Express Project in Modesto was awarded a $9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation through the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery.

The $9 million grant will be used for the first phase of a newly-constructed, two-lane highway traveling east/west around Modesto. The Gateway Express Project will increase capacity by allowing trucks to avoid the most populous areas of the city.

Approximately 8.2 million tons of freight per year, or 34,000 tons daily, are moved over SR-132 to and from the I-5 corridor. The project will allow for continued growth of Valley agricultural exports.

Quantified benefits over 30 years should include:
• $500 million in travel time savings
• $100 million in operating costs
• $200 million in safety improvements
• $16 million in emissions reductions

The Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery, or TIGER Discretionary Grant program, provides a unique opportunity for the DOT to invest in road, rail, transit and port projects that promise to achieve national objectives. Since 2009, Congress has dedicated nearly $5.1 billion for eight rounds of TIGER to fund projects that have a significant impact on the nation, a region or a metropolitan area.

Congressman Jeff Denham (R-Turlock) had been an advocating for the region to be awarded a portion of the grant.

“At a time when we see increased congestion and travel times, this project will move trucks around the city and improve commute times on local roads,” said Rep. Denham. “Efficiently transporting our agricultural commodities from the Valley is critical to our economy, and this grant will get Valley goods to market faster while reducing traffic and improving the public safety of Modesto residents.”