Trade Corridor Improvements

SB 1 established a long-term vision for improving the state's critical trade corridors, investing in improvements on key freight routes.

Where is the money going?



Freight generates 1/3 of CA’s economy

Caltrans will fix over 500 bridges. Many repairs will help meet current standards for goods movement

$300 million annually for freight improvements

Trade Corridor Enhancement Trade Corridor Enhancement Program (TCEP): $300 million annually

$300 million has been slated annually from a new fund for projects related to the routes and transportation infrastructure vital to California's trade and freight economy. The Trade Corridor Enhancement Program (TCEP) will focus on projects nominated by local agencies and the state that will make:

  • Improvements to highways so they can more efficiently handle and move freight
  • Freight rail system improvements
  • Enhancements to the capacity and efficiency of ports
  • Truck corridor improvements, such as dedicated truck facilities or truck toll facilities
  • Border access improvements
  • Surface transportation, local roads and connector road improvements to help move goods from California's ports

Moving Freight Effectively

SB 1 created a target to fix 500 bridges in the next decade. Caltrans has prioritized funding for 30 highway spans that don't meet height or weight standards. These bridges—18 in Southern California and 12 in the Bay Area—are along freight-critical junctures on Interstate 80 and Interstate 5, and connect California's ports to highways, moving goods across the country.

Because these older bridges don't meet current height or weight standards, trucks carrying larger or heavier loads are forced to make lengthy detours around them. This results in lost revenues, higher costs, increased emissions, traffic impacts and damage to infrastructure not constructed to interstate pavement standards.

500 bridges in the next decade

These bridges include:

  • I-5 spans in the Los Angeles area, where initial estimates call for investing $130 million to bring 10 bridges up to modern standards by either lowering the roadways or outright replacement to create more vertical space, or fortifying the structures.
  • I-5 spans near the Grapevine in Kern County. More vertical clearance is required where the interstate separates from State Route 99, while another span near the California Aqueduct needs widening and a new surface.
  • In Northern California, six of the major projects will be clustered on I-80 near the port of Oakland, which is the fourth busiest port in the nation. An estimated $22 million is needed to improve vertical clearance at the MacArthur Maze interchange where I-80, I-580 and I-880 meet.
  • Two bridges on I-5 in the Lathrop area that see heavy truck traffic also are on the project list. Structure strengthening is proposed on both to accommodate heavier loads, at a cost of almost $4 million.

transit California's Freight System by the Numbers



12 Airports with major cargo operations

12 Deep-water seaports

3 International commercial land ports of entry

5,300 miles of freight railroad track

local matching funds High-Priority Projects Eligible for Funding

Trade Corridor Improvements for projects such as:

  • High-priority grade separation projects statewide that improve safety where vehicles and trains intersect
  • Construction of a 7th border crossing at the Mexico/California border — Otay Mesa East
  • I-710 improvements from the Southern California Ports
  • State Route 99 improvements in the Central Valley
  • Phase 2 of the 680/80/12 intersection in the Bay Area

Applications for the Trade Corridor Enhancement Program were due to the California Transportation Commission (CTC) on August 3, 2020.

Projects selected include:

  • Kern County: $25 million for the Bakersfield Freeway Connector Project, which will improve the transition of freight traffic between State Route 58 and State Route 99, reducing the need to travel on local surface streets.
  • Los Angeles County: $128.6 million to improve efficiency, safety, and reliability while reducing truck trips and vehicle emissions through rail improvements at the San Pedro Bay Ports and the elimination of at-grade railroad crossings along the Alameda Corridor-East and the Los Angeles-San Diego-San Luis Obispo rail corridors.

Funding: Nominations by local agencies and the state.

2020 Trade Corridor Enhancement Program Staff Recommendations (PDF) - November 16, 2020

For more information visit the CTC's Trade Corridor Enhancement Program page.

trade corridors Why the Focus on Trade and Freight?

  • Freight movement generates about a third of California's $2.2 trillion economy.
  • $740 billion: Portion of California's GDP from freight-dependent industries
  • More than 5 million: California jobs in freight-dependent industry

(Source: State of California Employment Development Department, Labor Market Information Division)

  • California is the nation's largest gateway for international trade and domestic commerce
  • Between 2015 and 2045, the Federal Highway Administration predicts that California freight tons will increase by 59 percent and freight value by 133 percent, with trucking being the dominant share of that load