Committee finalizes recommendations for ConnectOregon's remaining funds
The ConnectOregon V Final Review Committee met on Tuesday in Portland to review the list of qualified applications for the approximate $4 million in remaining ConnectOregon funds. Topping the list is the Port of St. Helens Berth 2, Beaver Dock Reconstruction for $2 million, followed by the City of Eugene Bike Share program for $909,066 and the Teevin Bros. Rail Intermodal Consolidation project in Rainier for $2.3 million. These recommendations now go to the Oregon Transportation Commission for a public hearing, set for Thursday, Jan. 15 at 12:45 p.m. at the Red Lion Hotel, 3301 Market St. NE in Salem. For those who want to testify about the ConnectOregon projects, sign up begins at noon. Testimony is limited to three minutes, and you are encouraged to bring 10 copies of written testimony. Comments are also being accepted through Feb. 12, 2015 via email to: ConnectOregon@odot.state.or.us or by mail to: Connect Oregon, 555 13th St. NE, Salem OR 97301.
The hearing is part of the OTC’s regular monthly meeting which begins at 9 a.m. The public is invited to attend. Accommodations will be provided to persons with disabilities, and alternate formats of printed material are available upon request. Please call (503) 986-3450 (or statewide relay 711) at least 48 hours prior to the meeting.
The Oregon Transportation Commission is expected to make its final decision about the remaining ConnectOregon projects at its regular meeting in February. OTC meeting details will be available online.
36 multimodal projects approved for funding
After considering input from the public at a hearing in July, 2014 and reviewing a large volume of written comments, the Oregon Transportation Commission approved 36 multimodal projects from around the state for $40,369,189 in funding, provided by the ConnectOregon V program (brief list below). The commission did not approve, by a vote of 3 - 2, a project submitted by the Port of St. Helens to reconstruct Berth 2 - Beaver Dock. The commission will consider at a future meeting how to distribute the remaining funds in the program.
Other than the Port of St. Helens Berth 2 project, the list of recommend projects from the Final Review Committee was unchanged by the commission. For ConnectOregon V, there were 104 applications requesting a total of $124,386,927 million. Each application was evaluated and ranked by several stakeholder groups, including modal committees and regional committees, before going to the final review committee.
ConnectOregon focuses on improving connections and supporting local economies throughout the state. Dedicated to non-highway projects, ConnectOregon was first approved by the Oregon legislature in 2005 and has funded more than 130 marine/ports, aviation, public transit, and rail projects around the state. For ConnectOregon V, bicycle/pedestrian projects were also eligible to compete for funds.
See the list of all approved projects.
ConnectOregon V Public Comments Received
In June, 2014, the ConnectOregon Final Review Committee recommended 37 projects for funding worth $42.3 million.
On July 17th, 2014, the Oregon Transportation Commission held a public hearing during its regular meeting in Salem to receive public testimony regarding ConnectOregon V project funding recommendations.
ODOT also accepted public comments through July 25, 2014. ODOT received over 8,300 comments in mail and electronic format. Comments received are available for review:
With the approval of Senate Bill 5533 the 2013 Oregon Legislature approved a fifth round of ConnectOregon funding in the amount of $42 million.
What is ConnectOregon?
ConnectOregon is a lottery bond based initiative to invest in air, rail, marine, transit, and bicycle/pedestrian infrastructure to ensure Oregon’s transportation system is strong, diverse, and efficient.
ConnectOregon projects are eligible for up to 80% of project costs for grants and 100% for loans. A minimum 20% cash match is required from the recipient for all grant funded projects. Projects eligible for funding from state fuel tax revenues (section 3a, Article IX of the Oregon Constitution, the Highway Trust Fund), are not eligible for ConnectOregon funding. If a highway or public road element is essential to the complete functioning of the proposed project, applicants are encouraged to work with their ODOT region, city, or county to identify the necessary funding sources.
Ultimate beneficiaries of ConnectOregon projects:
All Oregonians will reap the benefits from enhancing Oregon’s transportation infrastructure. People and businesses, as well as the environment, will benefit by having a more efficient, productive transportation system that improves Oregon’s business environment, ultimately leading to more jobs and a more sound economy.
For additional information about the ConnectOregon program contact Chris Cummings (503-986-3703).
In 2005, the Oregon Legislature created the Multimodal Transportation Fund to invest in air, marine, rail, and public transit infrastructure improvements. The Fund is part of what is known as the ConnectOregon program; providing grants and loans to non-highway transportation projects that promote economic development in Oregon. The legislature authorized issuance of $100 million in lottery-backed revenue bonds to fund the program in each of the 2005-07, 2007-09, and 2009-11 biennia. An additional $40 million was authorized in 2011 for the 2011-13 biennium.
In creating the Multimodal Transportation Fund, the legislature found that local governments and businesses often lack sufficient capital and technical capacity (i.e. engineering, planning, labor and/or equipment) to undertake multimodal transportation projects and that public financial assistance can help support these long-term economic growth and job creation projects. For the $340 million of ConnectOregon cycles (I, II, III, and IV), the state received 424 eligible project applications. Of which, the Oregon Transportation Commission selected 203 projects for funding. With the addition of leveraged funds, the program represents approximately $834 million in direct investment in multimodal transportation improvements.
ConnectOregon projects have resulted in success from creating job opportunities to retaining major employers. The projects have also resulted in reduced transportation costs, barriers to economic development removed, and improved safety. Together, the initial four phases of the ConnectOregon program have improved multimodal connections and better integrated transportation system components, thereby improving the flow of commerce and promoting economic development within Oregon. ODOT administers the program pursuant to OAR 731-0.
Click on any of the below pictures to read about a few of the successful projects.
ConnectOregon Report to the Oregon Legislature
ConnectOregon Report - Executive Summary
ConnectOregon Funded Projects
ConnectOregon Rules and Statute
Selected projects from I through IV
Active Transportation Analyst
Senior Transportation Planner
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