The city of Sacramento’s Department of Transportation has met its deadline to secure $20 million in federal stimulus money. The funds will be put toward the $60 million cost of constructing new railroad tracks at the downtown depot.

Track Project at Sacramento Depot Gets Funding
Photo: Courtesy City of Sacramento
Track Project at Sacramento Depot Gets Funding

Moving and realigning the railroad tracks 500 ft north will clear the way for the housing, shops, museums and entertainment venues at the railyards being developed by Thomas Enterprises and for future expansion of the depot into a world class regional multi-modal transportation center.

“Last March, we learned the biggest chunk of stimulus money in Sacramento would be going to the Railyards if the project could be ready for construction in nine months,” says Mayor Kevin Johnson. “With that looming deadline, city staff has been scrambling to work with multiple federal, state and local agencies, rail operators and utility companies to gain federal environmental clearance and secure project approvals and have everything turned in by Tuesday, Dec. 1. I am pleased to say, yes, we made it!”

Johnson thanked Democratic Rep. Doris Matsui of Sacramento, the California Transportation Commission, Caltrans and the Sacramento Area Council of Governments for helping Sacramento secure the funds for the project. Based on the federal formula of one job per every $35,000 investment, approximately 571 regional jobs are being sustained by the federal stimulus dollars in this project.

“Communities across the region will benefit from this project, by making train, light rail, and bus transportation easier and more convenient through the future expansion of the station,” says SACOG Executive Director Mike McKeever. “The track relocation will also help move more long-distance freight by rail, easing congestion on the freeways that converge in Sacramento.”

“While the design team is in place, lead by TranSystems, the construction team is pending bid advertisement and selection,” says Elias A. Rashmawi of Thomas Enterprises. “The Depot will have some work as part of this project. Bids are scheduled to go out in the beginning of February.”

The station is the second busiest train depot in the state. The train tracks and Sacramento Valley Station rail depot are located on vital regional and national trade corridors. Its western juncture is at the Port of Oakland. The current facility cannot adequately serve the trade corridor. Rail tonnage is anticipated to double between now and 2025.

The 244-acre Railyards redevelopment project is located in downtown Sacramento, and is the historic site of the western terminus of the transcontinental railroad. The Railyards is a public-private partnership between Thomas Enterprises Inc., the city of Sacramento, the state of California and the United States government. The Railyards will create 19,000 permanent jobs, 56,000 construction jobs and result in an ongoing annual positive economic impact of $2.7 billion. Private investment in the project will exceed $5 billion.