The U.S. Department of Transportation recently announced a $9 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) program grant for State Road 132, the Gateway Express Project in Modesto. The grant was issued as a result of persistent support from U.S. Representative Jeff Denham.
“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 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.”
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.
Modesto was the only TIGER grant recipient in the state of California of the 41 total projects.
Quantified benefits from the Gateway project over 30 years should include: $500 million in travel time savings, $100 million in operating costs, $200 million in safety improvements and $16 million in emissions reductions.
“State Route 132 is our region’s number one transportation project. It is a key economic engine for the region,” said Matt Machado, Stanislaus County Director of Public Works. “Local agencies partnering together is a successful combination.”