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Panel prioritizes projects to receive ConnectOregon funds


June 12, 2014

For more information: Shelley M. Snow, Public Affairs, (503) 881-5362

List of recommendations now goes to Transportation Commission

SALEM – Thirty-seven multimodal projects from around the state top the list (PDF) of recommendations for $42,369,189 million in funding, provided by the ConnectOregon V program. (Savings from earlier ConnectOregon projects added $369,189.63 to the legislatively-approved $42 million.) The program’s final review committee met in Portland yesterday to discuss and prioritize recommendations from several earlier volunteer review committees. Recommended projects, ranging from railroad improvements to bicycle paths, now go to the Oregon Transportation Commission for final approval.

The OTC will hold a public hearing on the recommendations at its July 17 meeting in Salem and make a final decision at its August 21-22 meeting in Ontario.

A summary (PDF) of the recommended projects shows 15 percent of funds going to aviation projects; 17 percent going to bicycle/pedestrian projects; 26 percent going to port/marine projects; 32 percent going to rail projects; and 8 percent going to transit projects. The legislation requires no less than 10 percent of the funds be distributed to each of the state's five geographic regions, provided there are qualified projects in the region. The summary shows that requirement was met.

The ConnectOregon program focuses on improving connections between Oregon highways and all other modes: marine/ports, aviation, public transit, rail and new for the ConnectOregon V program, bicycle/pedestrian. Dedicated to non-highway projects, ConnectOregon was first approved by the Oregon legislature in 2005 and has funded more than 140 projects around the state.

For ConnectOregon V, 104 applications, requesting a total of $124,386,927, were evaluated by modal committees and regional committees before going to the final review committee. ConnectOregon includes both grants and loans for private sector applicants, municipalities, cities, counties, governing organizations, and other transportation-related entities. Criteria for qualified projects include readiness for construction, economic benefit and value in linking transportation modes. To see details, visit the ConnectOregon website.