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Legislature wraps up work on transportation bills

The Oregon Legislature wrapped up its whirlwind 35-day session in early March. While transportation wasn’t a major focus of the session, a number of transportation bills passed.  ODOT’s Legislative Summary provides information on the major transportation-related bills tracked by ODOT.
Among the bills the Legislature passed:
Senate Bill 1543 defines how remaining funds allocated to projects under the Jobs and Transportation Act Section 64 are to be reallocated. A number of projects should have resources that can be used to complete the funding needed for other projects. The bill requires the Oregon Transportation Commission to submit a report to the legislative transportation committees each year on Section 64 projects that includes a prioritized list of projects from Section 64 of the JTA that need additional funds to be completed. SB 1543 also directs the Oregon Transportation Commission to reallocate unused funds from two Section 64 projects. Any unused funds from the Interstate 5/Interstate 205 interchange are to be reallocated to the Interstate 84 at the 257th Avenue Interchange project in Troutdale.

Any unused funds from the U.S. 26: 185th Avenue to Cornell project are to be reallocated to the U.S. 26 Shute Road Interchange, Phase I project in Hillsboro.
SB 1543 allocates additional money to Multnomah County for two projects: $5 million for the Sellwood Bridge project and $9.5 million for the Cornelius Pass Road project. The revenue for the special payment to Multnomah County will come from an increase in the State Highway Fund derived through charging the fair market value for records from DMV to the Department of Administrative Services (DAS).  DMV currently charges $2.00 for a record, but will increase its charge to $6.68 per record.

Rendering of new Sellwood Bridge   
Senate Bill 1591 makes a number of changes to rest area management along Oregon highways by transferring management of certain rest areas from ODOT to the Travel Information Council (TIC), tying funding to the electronic government portal fee, and making changes to the TIC.
SB 1591 ends the pilot program for management of rest areas created in 2009 and makes TIC management of rest areas permanent. The bill transfers additional rest areas from ODOT to
TIC management together with State Highway Fund money to support TIC’s rest area program.  By 2014, ODOT will transfer to TIC 25 rest areas and annually transfer $6.55 million in State Highway Fund resources to cover their management.  SB 1591 links revenue that ODOT may realize from the sale of DMV driver records though the electronic government portal developed by DAS.