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Funding to improve roads, bridges part of $2.2 billion allocated for Oregon’s STIP

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Funding to improve roads, bridges part of $2.2 billion allocated for Oregon’s STIP
The Oregon Transportation Commission has approved $2.2 billion in funding for its statewide transportation improvement plan. A portion of that funding will be set aside for road and bridge improvements.

SALEM, Ore. — The Oregon Transportation Commission, part of the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), on Dec. 15 approved an initial plan to invest more than $2.2 billion in different types of transportation projects through the statewide transportation improvement program (STIP) for 2024 to 2027. The STIP funds construction projects and a variety of transportation programs, including roads and bridges, bicycle, pedestrian, and public transportation.

In its action, the commission invested record amounts in public transportation, pedestrian and bicycle programs while also providing funding to improve safety and preserve roads and bridges.

“Oregon has a broad range of transportation needs that cannot be fully met by existing resources,” said Oregon Transportation Commission Chair Robert Van Brocklin. “We must stretch scarce resources to address a diverse set of priorities. The investments we are developing in this STIP will help us make progress on multiple fronts, including improving mobility across the state, reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions, addressing congestion, improving safety and seismic response efforts, improving freight mobility, and keeping existing roads and bridges in good repair.”

The commission based its decision on its strategic action plan, which focuses on building a modern transportation system by preserving roads and bridges, reducing traffic crashes, improving access to public and active transportation, cutting greenhouse gas emissions, and tackling growing congestion.

The STIP is only one part of the investment in Oregon’s transportation system; many programs receive funds from other sources.

The commission provided $255 million in funding for public and active transportation programs, an increase of nearly $100 million and more than 60% from the 2021-2024 STIP.

The commission said it also preserved a significant amount of funding for pavement and bridge maintenance programs, although even at these funding levels some state highways are expected to experience minor deterioration over the period covered by the STIP. ODOT estimates the agency would needs hundreds of millions of dollars more to keep aging state highway bridges and pavements from deteriorating, far beyond the ability of the agency to fund within the STIP. The commission also maintained record levels of dedicated funding for safety improvements, invested in efforts to improve the state highway system by addressing congestion and bottlenecks, and provided resources for ODOT to meet its commitments to make state highways accessible to those with disabilities that limit mobility.

The commission received extensive public comment over a five-month period through a survey that more than 800 Oregonians responded to, an online open house that garnered more than 200 responses, feedback from more than a dozen advisory committees, and hundreds of letters and e-mails from elected officials, advocacy groups, and other Oregon residents.

This action is only the first step in developing the 2024-2027 STIP. In January, the commission will review recommendations on how to allocate funding within the major categories; then, over the next two years, ODOT will use data on road and bridge conditions and safety issues, along with discussions with communities and advisory committees, to develop and refine the list of projects. In 2023 the commission will hold a final public comment opportunity before making any adjustments to the draft STIP and signing off on the final STIP.

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The Trucker News Staff produces engaging content for not only TheTrucker.com, but also The Trucker Newspaper, which has been serving the trucking industry for more than 30 years. With a focus on drivers, the Trucker News Staff aims to provide relevant, objective content pertaining to the trucking segment of the transportation industry. The Trucker News Staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.
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