AASHTO Journal, 25 March 2016
The Oregon Transportation Commission on March 17 allocated $196 million in additional federal funding to a range of projects under its 2018-21 Statewide Transportation Improvement Program.
The Oregon Department of Transportation said $77 million of the new funding – which comes from the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act that Congress passed in December – will be used to address a bridge, pavement and culvert preservation backlog on state highways.
Another $35 million will go to finish the first component of ODOT’s seismic resilience plan to keep two critical freight routes operating after a Cascadia earthquake.
The OTC also added $5 million for bicycle, pedestrian and transit projects, $5 million to make ramps accessible for those with disabilities, $49 million for freight projects and $25 for strategic investments.
“We’re fortunate to be able to make this decision – one where we’re adding funds instead of taking them away,” said Commission Chair Tammy Baney. “Still, those funds need to be focused, and we decided to continue investments in projects and programs that reduce congestion, make state highways more earthquake-resilient and increase transportation options.”
The announcement said the freight and strategic investment projects will be selected as ODOT develops a freight bottleneck list and freight investment strategy later this year. ODOT plans to use these funds to leverage federal funding opportunities, make strategic investments across the state and fill in gaps in other programs.
“I would like to thank all members of Oregon’s congressional delegation for their votes in favor of FAST Act,” said ODOT Director Matthew Garrett.
He particularly singled out Rep., Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., who is ranking minority member on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. “Oregon receives significantly more funding because Congressman DeFazio has been in a continuous position of leadership on transportation policy in Washington, D.C.,” Garrett said.