Stimulus transportation funds heading to Iron Horse Trail

Project chosen over a thousand other applications

More than $10 million is headed to the area to help complete the Iron Horse Trail.

Surrounded by trail supporters and officials from the East Bay Regional Park District at the Pleasanton-Dublin BART station, Congressman Jerry McNerney (D-Pleasanton), made the announcement Wednesday that the U.S. Department of Transportation had chosen the Iron Horse project over more than a thousand other applications.

The money will come from the TIGER II (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) grant program, part of President Obama's stimulus package.

"The idea is to expand the Iron Horse Trail from Walnut Creek to Livermore," McNerney said. "This will create 500 jobs in this district."

While the $10.2 million grant may be an economic boon to the area, it's also good news for walkers, bicyclists and commuters, and McNerney, a Pleasanton resident, said he'll be taking advantage of the expansion, too.

"I'm a jogger and a bike rider and I enjoy these kinds of trails," McNerney said, adding, "It's good for the entire East Bay.

The grant will pay to close the 1.6 mile gap in the trail from the Dublin/Pleasanton BART station through the Hacienda Business Park and complete the Iron Horse Trail between Dublin, Pleasanton and Livermore.

The rest of the grant will fund other projects in Alameda and Contra Costa counties that are part of the Park District's Green Transportation Initiative.

Park District General Manager Patrick O'Brien said the complete project, with its links, will be the largest trail system in the U.S.

"We have about 170 miles of trails in the East Bay now," O'Brien said. "What this project does is connect them all."

The completed Iron Horse Regional Trail will run from Livermore in Alameda County to Suisun Bay in Contra Costa County. It will run more than 55 miles, connect two counties and nine communities, and will link to other trails that run to Martinez, Hercules and Oakland, among others.


Posted by Educated, a resident of Foothill High School
on Oct 25, 2010 at 1:03 pm

I would love to know how they calculated that 500 new jobs will be created in this district. Even if the entire $10.2 million was spent on wages, which it won't be, that only comes to $20400 per job, which when annualized is under $10/hour.

Sure, the trail will be nice, but does a nice place to walk or ride a bike really create any significant new economic activity other than what is required to build the trail? Seems unlikely.

Posted by Fed up with Fed, a resident of Del Prado
on Oct 25, 2010 at 1:49 pm

I would say this does't create a single job. This and many other similar "stimulus projects", is spending for the sake of spending; it creates a task but does virtually nothing to stimulate economic activity. This is a good example of a project that should be cut given our economic condition.

The PW should be asking hard questions about why this money is being spent and exactly how this is going to benefit our economy. Out of one thousand applications this project is providing the best return on our investment?? Shame on Jerry McNerney for buying this $10 million campaign advertisement with our tax money.

Posted by Hello friends,, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 25, 2010 at 2:25 pm

I think this is awesome. We need more open space in this cement jungle we live in. Providing trail links to the Iron Horse will give our community more access via bicycle/ hiking, walking. Get out of your cars people, fuel costs continue to rise and a walk or bike to bart is a good start to counter this. Jobs at this point, 1-100 through job corps or any other program is a stimulus and better than spending tax money on unemployment. McNerney is keeping true to his values, a concerned citizen, listening to his supporters. Thanks Jerry for closing the gap on this trail!

Posted by James Above Foothill, a resident of West of Foothill
on Oct 26, 2010 at 12:07 am

I am thrilled about this expansion of the Iron Horse Trail, and I am very grateful that federal funding was obtained to help in the completion of this regional ATTRACTION - the largest trail system in the US; the IHT could become a major ICON for the East Bay. THANK YOU Jerry McNerney.

Posted by mark, a resident of Walnut Grove Elementary School
on Oct 28, 2010 at 8:59 pm

How will 10 million dollars to complete the Iron Horse Trail create 500 new jobs? This is nonsense, McNerney. This is a waste of money, pork spending. Vote for Harmer and get rid of McNerney.

Posted by Roger, a resident of Las Positas
on Oct 30, 2010 at 11:42 pm

This is awesome and great for the community! Thanks Jerry!

Posted by Roger, a resident of Fairlands Elementary School
on Oct 30, 2010 at 11:45 pm

This is great news and good for the community!

Posted by If you read..., a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 31, 2010 at 12:04 am

"The rest of the grant will fund other projects in Alameda and Contra Costa counties that are part of the Park District's Green Transportation Initiative."

So it's not just about the Iron Horse Trail portion, there are other projects associated with this grant money... if people would just read the article! I'm sure all of the projects will be both beneficial to the bay area AND will help create jobs.

Posted by Fed up with Fed, a resident of Del Prado
on Nov 1, 2010 at 6:34 am

We did read the article. How will spending our $10M on extending the IHT and "other projects in Alameda and Contra Costa counties that are part of the Park District's Green Transportation Initiative" create jobs? This buys votes with OUR money and the only jobs created are short-term tasks such as paving a trail. It fattens the wallet of a few chosen contractors. These are not "jobs".

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