Rep. Josh Harder (D-Turlock) toured the International Park of Commerce on May 6 after his office announced a $8.35 million grant to make significant infrastructure improvements for the IPC.

The grant, through the Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration, will be matched with $2.1 million in local investment and is expected to create 2,145 jobs, retain 6,734 jobs, and generate $459 million in private investment.

In his statement Harder discussed the potential for new jobs.

“Creating more than 2,000 new jobs, retaining more than 6,500 jobs, generating more than $450 million in investments, that’s a win-win-win to me,” said Rep. Harder. “This is exactly the kind of infrastructure investments we should be making. I’m incredibly excited we locked in these resources for Tracy.”

The grant will help fund a bridge replacement and roadway expansion adjacent to Old Schulte Road.

In late January, the city announced plans to replace the current Interstate 580 interchange at International Parkway on the west edge of town with a new diverging diamond. The $53 million project would be the second diverging diamond in the state, with the other along Highway 120 at Union Road in Manteca.

This is part of a long-range plan to develop the IPC to eventually create 30,000 jobs and the grant helps address the need to improve roadways and infrastructure to meet the growth in the area.

Harder’s office stated the International Parkway and Schulte Road serve as both the freight movement linkage and as commuter routes to the IPC and the Bay Area. Widening the roadways from two-lanes to four and replacement of the bridge over the U.S. Bureau of reclamation/Delta Mendota Canal is needed to promote safe and efficient movement of goods and people.

During his visit to the IPC, Harder stressed the need for more local jobs.

“One of the biggest opportunities that we have in the valley is to bring more jobs, bring more employers here. That’s one of the top priorities we have. We ship 86,000 people over the Altamont Pass every single day, right over the 205 they go. They live here but they can’t necessarily find jobs here,” Harder said. “So I think one of the real opportunities we have is to make sure were actually employing people locally instead of sending them out five, six hours a day in their car in the parking lot that is 205 many times of the day.”

Updating roadways to help with future growth and continue buildout of the IPC is an important factor in bringing more jobs to Tracy.

“What’s exciting about this is, this is only half done, or maybe 25% done in terms of the jobs so there’s a lot more potential to grow,” Harder said. “I want to make sure the folks that live in Tracy can actually work in Tracy and don’t have to commute, drive five-six hours a day. We have the skills locally we just need to be able to build those businesses here.”

This project is funded under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act which provided the Economic Development Administration with $1.5 billion for economic assistance programs to help communities prevent, prepare for, and respond to the coronavirus.

EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance, which is being administered under the authority of the bureau’s flexible Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) program, provides a wide range of financial assistance to eligible communities and regions as they respond to and recover from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

• Contact the Tracy Press at tpnews@tracypress.com or 835-3030.

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