Oregon Commission Awards $49.5M for 39 Non-Highway Transportation Projects
PORTLAND, OR The Oregon Transportation Commission approved $49.5 million in funding for 39 non-highway multimodal projects around the state, from adding rail spurs in Elgin, Oregon, to improving moorage in Astoria, Oregon, building a multiuse path in Milwaukie, Oregon, and supporting emergency power generators for two airports in Josephine County.
The largest single award of $8.3 million went to improve Portland, Oregon, -area passenger rail speeds.
The awards were part of the state's "ConnectOregon" program, which under the state Department of Transportation focuses on improving non-highway travel connections while supporting Oregon's economy. ConnectOregon was first approved by the Oregon legislature in 2005 and has funded more than 180 projects for marine, aviation, transit, bike/ped and rail infrastructure, using $382 million in funds generated by lottery-backed bonds.
Qualifying projects are eligible for grants that cover up to 70 percent of costs, while at least a 30 percent match is required from the grant recipient. But any projects that are eligible for funding from state fuel tax revenues are not eligible for ConnectOregon funding.
For this ConnectOregon VI round, ODOT said 75 applications were submitted seeking a total of $88.4 million. Modal and regional committees evaluated the requests before they went to a final review committee.
ConnectOregon includes grants for private-sector applicants, municipalities, cities, counties, governing organizations and other transportation-related entities.
Factors considered for applications include how a proposal would reduce transportation costs for Oregon businesses, bring economic benefit to the state, support critical links connecting transportation modes, and other factors including a project's useful life expectancy.