REMARKS AS PREPARED
December 18, 2017
Good morning. Today began with the heartbreaking news of the Amtrak derailment in Washington. My thoughts are with all those involved, as well as the families affected. I also want to acknowledge the valiant efforts of the first responders. I spoke with Governor Inslee this morning, and assured him Oregon stands ready to provide any needed assistance and support.
Today, we are here to celebrate the opening of the Newberg-Dundee Bypass. And I’m happy to say that ODOT delivered completion of Phase 1 of this project on time, and under budget.
We took a different approach on this project to accelerate completion of Phase 1 of the bypass by opening opportunities to several Oregon contractors. I’d like to acknowledge the project’s prime contractors who are with us today:
Hamilton of Springfield
Wildish of Eugene, and
K & E Excavators of Salem.
Thanks to their work, and with the savings from this first phase, we’re already setting our sights on the Phase 2 Route and a new connection for Wilsonville Road that will further improve traffic flow.
Today’s grand opening is a longtime in the making and is truly a community celebration.
This project means a lot to the local community. September’s “Play on the Bypass” fun-run and walk organized by ODOT, the City of Newberg, and Chehalem Park and Recreation District, attracted nearly 300 local residents alone.
Rarely is the opening of a bypass greeted with such community fanfare, which is a testament to just how much this project is needed.
As Oregon’s population has grown and as the economy continues to improve, we know congestion has increased and so have demands for freight transportation.
The Newberg-Dundee Bypass is a prime example of how strategic transportation investments can ease congestion and spur economic growth so all Oregonians can thrive.
Once officially opened to commuters and truckers, the Newberg-Dundee Bypass is expected to reduce overall, local area traffic by 30 to 40 percent. For heavy truck traffic, ODOT estimates the reduction will be between 50 and 75 percent.
That’s a big deal! It means goods can get to market quicker, and it reduces the time commercial, diesel trucks spend idling in traffic — which helps reduce harmful diesel emissions.
This project was made possible by $190 million from the Jobs and Transportation Act, along with some federal funding. However, it’s the local contribution that really helped carry Phase 1 over this finish line.
I want to acknowledge the investments from the cities of Newberg, Dundee, McMinnville, as well as Yamhill County and the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde. Thank you.
And thanks to the bipartisan efforts this past legislative session, we were able to pass Oregon’s largest investment in transportation that included $22 million for Phase 2 of this project.
Projects like these have significant benefits to local communities and unlock key economic development opportunities.
A well-managed transportation system is the backbone of a thriving Oregon economy. Good, safe roads allow the statewide economy to flow efficiently, keeping costs down and sustaining jobs.
These investments have proven to reduce congestion and will support a strong business sector Oregon needs to keep our economic engines humming.