$677 million in applications submitted for Enhance funding
ODOT has received $677 million in eligible applications for projects seeking funding under the Enhance category in the 2015-18 Statewide Transportation Improvement Program—about three times the amount of funding available.
More than 300 eligible applications have been distributed to Area Commissions on Transportation (ACTs) for consideration. ODOT Region 1—the Portland metro region and Hood River County—will review the largest number of applications, with 94 applications requesting over $300 million. Demand was strong across all regions, however, with ODOT’s Region 3, which covers southwest Oregon, receiving applications requesting $142 million—more than five times the amount allocated to the region.
The next step in the process is project review by ACTs and the special committee set up by Region 1. By March 15 ACTs will submit recommendations equaling 150 percent of their estimated funding. ODOT region staff will scope projects on these “150 percent lists,” and by mid-June, statewide bodies like the Oregon Freight Advisory Committee and the Joint Transportation Enhancements-Oregon Bicycle/Pedestrian Advisory Committee will provide input on the lists to the Oregon Transportation Commission (OTC). By October, ACTs and regions will narrow their lists and finalize their recommendations to the OTC, which has retained 20 percent of the Enhance funding to ensure balanced investments and fund statewide priorities.
ODOT developed the new Enhance category to identify and fund the best transportation projects that solve problems regardless of mode, rather than focus on narrow modal or programmatic silos that often precluded larger, more comprehensive solutions that address multiple objectives. ODOT created two broad multimodal categories: Enhance, for activities that expand or improve the transportation system, and Fix-It, for projects that fix or preserve the transportation system. Fix-It projects—including those that improve safety for all users of the transportation system as well as projects that repair bridges, sidewalks and bikeways, pavement and other elements of the transportation system—will be selected through ODOT’s management systems that identify the highest priority investments; Enhance projects will be selected by the OTC through the stakeholder-driven process that engages the Area Commissions on Transportation.