SALEM, Ore. — The Oregon Transportation Commission (OTC) on March 15 announced its approval of an Enhance Highway Discretionary Program that will address congestion and freight mobility issues on state highways, a move the commission says will impact the state’s trade-based economy.
OTC has set aside $65 million in funding for projects that will improve the functionality of the state’s highways, such as auxiliary lanes and passing lanes, truck climbing lanes, freight improvements, intelligent transportation systems and other technology, and more.
While projects will be focused on congestion relief and improving freight mobility, the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) will factor in safety, equity, climate and multimodal accessibility as it selects projects.
ODOT will engage area commissions on transportation and metropolitan planning organizations to get input on priority projects. These groups will be asked to provide feedback on the proposed projects before bringing the final list before the OTC for approval in the draft Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP).
The OTC plans to distribute project across the state, with a minimum of 30% of the total funding going to rural areas.
Once the OTC approves the basic outlines of the program, ODOT will begin gathering potential projects later this year.