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670 more jobs at stake
UP briefing city leaders on intermodal expansion
A container is lifted onto a truck trailer from a railroad flat car at a Union Pacific intermodal facility. - photo by Photo Contributed

Union Pacific Chief Executive Officer Jim Young is riding the rails to town Wednesday to brief community leaders on the proposal to roughly quadruple the railroad’s truck-to-train intermodal freight operation that hugs the city limit line of Lathrop and Manteca.

It is a project that is expected to ultimately add 670 permanent jobs to the local economy in conjunction with an adjoining business park project piggy backing on the expansion

The briefing will take place on a UP historical train that will arrive at the site this week. Attending the briefing from Manteca will be Mayor Willie Weatherford, City Manager Steve Pinkerton and staff members who have been working on the adjoining CenterPoint project.

It is the 4 million-square-foot CenterPoint Business Park project being located next to an expanded intermodal facility to go after specific tenants that would create 600 permanent jobs in Manteca. That is on top of 800 construction jobs.

UP now has 67 workers at the intermodal site and ultimately will employ 137.

 The expansion of the Lathrop Intermodal operation - spurred in part by a decision by UP to shift truck traffic away from the Port of Oakland - would bring the average daily truck trips from 954 today to 2,186 at complete build-out. It would mean the average number of trucks per hour leaving or departing the intermodal facility via Roth Road would go from 39.75 every hour to 91. Weekend traffic is 5 to 10 percent of work day traffic

Currently the intermodal facility can “lift” – remove and place truck trailers on specially designed railroad flat cars – some 270,000 container a year. At build-out that number will reach 730,000 lifts.

To reduce congestion and to address air quality concerns, the project will replace nine manual gates with 10 automatic gates. That will allow for a quicker flow of trucks into the facility to reduce idling time.

The entrance would be moved farther back from Roth Road to accommodate more trucks. Additional turn lanes will also be constructed on Roth Road.

An indirect access road to Lathrop Road will be made for employee traffic only. No cargo will leave - or access - the UP intermodal facility using Lathrop Road.

The California Public Employee Retirement System (PERS) is the primary investor in CalEast Global Logistics that acquired CenterPoint in March 2006. PERS invested $3.4 billion into the firm that provides logistics space across the country with a heavy emphasis on intermodal.

CalEast Global Logistics specializes in strategically placed distribution space for logistics operations heavily dependent on rail and truck traffic to move their goods.