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How are OTIA Projects Selected?
Overview
Oregonians expect OTIA projects to provide a boost to the state's economy, ensure efficient delivery routes for products and services, and help solve city and county transportation challenges. There are many projects that meet these criteria, so further guidelines were developed to help select projects that would be funded by OTIA.

OTIA I and II
Projects considered under the first OTIA legislation were focused on improving state, county and city roads and bridges. House Bill 2142 required the Oregon Transportation Commission to use bond proceeds to finance increased lane capacity and interchange enhancements, bridge repair and construction, and road preservation. It directed the OTC to select projects from among the following:
  • highways that need increased lane capacity, chosen from a financially constrained list;
  • highways and bridges with weight limitations;
  • state and local bridges, based on a bridge rating system;
  • interchanges on multilane highways where safety would be enhanced by constructing a grade-separated interchange to replace an at-grade crossing;
  • district highways in cities and counties that need preservation and that can be easily transferred from state to local government; and
  • projects that are equitably distributed throughout the state, using the same criteria as the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program.
The bill also directed the Oregon Transportation Commission to consult with local governments, metropolitan planning organizations, and regional advisory groups. After a seven-month process that included extensive participation from citizens, elected officials, advisory committees, and Area Commissions on Transportation, the OTC approved the final list of projects in January 2002.
 
In February 2002, a special session of the Legislature passed House Bill 4010, which approved an additional $100 million in bonding for projects. The Commission directed ODOT to set aside $50 million for modernization projects. About 170 projects are currently funded by OTIA I and II: state, city, and county-owned bridges, modernization projects and pavement preservation projects.
 
As of August 2006, 66 percent of OTIA I and II projects were complete (57 state projects and 57 local projects). In addition, 100 percent are in design, under construction or complete.
 

OTIA III
When he signed House Bill 2041 in July 2003, Gov. Ted Kulongoski called it “the greatest investment in our transportation infrastructure since World War II.” The $2.46 billion bond package is making substantial improvements to the state’s roads and bridges.
 
The funds are directed to several priorities.
  • $1.3 billion to replace and repair state bridges. The state’s aging infrastructure was the stimulus for OTIA III. The Economic and Bridge Options Report detailed the effects of load-limited bridges on Oregon’s economy and community livability, analyzed the costs of repair, and provided a five-stage solution to help fix the statewide problem. Based on the recommendations in the report, more than 300 state-owned bridges are scheduled for replacement or repair over 10 years. Projects along freight routes of statewide significance have priority. In a corridor-based approach, bridges are fixed in groups that allow an unobstructed flow of goods and services.  Stage 1 projects are scheduled to be complete in the fall of 2006, allowing heavy and overheight/overwidth truck traffic unobstructed routes while Stage 2 bridge construction is under way.
  • $300 million to replace and repair local bridges. The Highway Bridge Replacement and Rehabilitation Local Bridge Selection Committee took the lead in setting a timeline for identifying and selecting local bridge projects. After review by the Association of Oregon Counties, League of Oregon Cities, the Freight Advisory Committee, the Local Officials Advisory Committee and the Oregon Association of County Engineers and Surveyors, a list of 141 projects was approved by the OTC in 2004.
  • $361 million for county and city maintenance and preservation over 10 years. Funds are distributed by a formula: 40 percent to cities and 60 percent to counties. Local governments will select individual projects for city and county roads.
  • $500 million for modernization projects statewide. Selection of modernization projects will be included the 2006-2009 Statewide Transportation Improvement Program. The modernization program has three parts:
    • $100 million—Projects will improve freight mobility and industrial access and stimulate job growth. The Freight Advisory Committee, the Governor’s  Economic Revitalization Team, and the Oregon Community and Economic Development Department have developed project priority lists.
    • $200 million—Projects of statewide significance will receive $100 million, and $100 million will be distributed based on a regional equity split.
    • $200 million—These federal advanced construction funds are reserved for federaly earmarked projects. The OTC has approved a list of federal earmark requests that have first call on the advanced construction money.
ODOT prioritized projects for the OTIA III modernization program. The recommendations have been incorporated into the draft 2006-2009 STIP.