$200M price tag to remake Crows Landing facility

Remaking the old Naval Air Station at Crows Landing into a short-haul rail and manufacturing center serving the Port of Oakland will take 14 years and nearly $200 million to complete.

Those estimates are contained in a new report expected to be discussed Tuesday by members of the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors.

Project developer PCCP West Park LLC has submitted several reports to county staff, known as master plans, outlining key aspects of the project, including water, sewer and transportation, as well as the proposed short-haul rail center.

The price tag to complete the first phase is $52 million, with startup operations slated to begin in 2011 -- running one to two trains a day from Crows Landing to Oakland and back.

Eventually, the inland port at Crows Landing would have an intermodal storage yard for receiving and dispatching container trains from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. daily. An adjacent loading yard would be developed to transfer containers between trucks and railcars.

The site would provide storage for as many 950 truck chassis and containers.

Project coordinator D.J. Smith said the storage yard is crucial because it will help solve a problem now plaguing valley shippers -- securing empty containers in a timely fashion.

At build-out, anticipated by 2021, the facility would be operating up to six trains daily from Crows Landing to the port.

Because the trains will be short -- no more than 50 cars -- traffic disruptions would be minimal, according to Smith, causing no more than a two-minute interruption of vehicle traffic at any grade crossing.

Bee staff writer Michael G. Mooney can be reached at >mmooney@modbee.com or 578-2384.