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Oregon has several programs that invest in transportation projects on local roadways. There are federal funds, state funds and other funds; there are programs that invest in specific modes, such as rail or bicycle/pedestrian; and there are emergency situations when funds are available, too. Below is an overview of the various funding sources and programs.
To begin exploring these funding sources, we recommend you look at two major programs:
For an overview of federal-aid transportation programs, see the Congressional Research Service's Federal-Aid Highway Program (FAHP): In Brief.
The Oregon Department of Transportation manages other programs that fund or support projects on local roadways. You may also want to explore options related to the following categories of funding (some programs may be shown in more than one category):
Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program: A federally-funded program for surface transportation improvements designed to improve air quality and mitigate congestion. CMAQ funds are apportioned annually to each State according to the severity of its air quality problems. The program is jointly administered by Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Transit Administration.
Eligible project types include:
Contact Alan Thompson, Investments Program Manager.
SWIP, Quick Fix and Active Transportation Leverage: State Highway Fund dollars are distributed to each region for bicycle and pedestrian projects on state roadways. Outside agencies (such as a local roadway authority) may be able to use some of the funds such as SWIP dollars for pedestrian and bicycle facilities on state highways via an Intergovernmental Agreement.
Safe Routes to Schools: Safe Routes to School refers to efforts that improve, educate, or encourage children safely walking (by foot or mobility device) or biking to school. ODOT has two main types of Safe Routes to School programs: infrastructure and non-infrastructure. Infrastructure programs focus on making sure safe walking and biking routes exist through investments in crossings, sidewalks and bike lanes, flashing beacons, and the like. Non-infrastructure programs focus on education and outreach to assure awareness and safe use of walking and biking routes. ODOT manages funding competitions for both infrastructure and non-infrastructure programs at the annual levels of $10 million (increasing to $15 million in 2023) and $300,000 respectively.
All Roads Transportation Safety: The All Roads Transportation Safety, or ARTS, Program is designed to address safety needs on all public roads in Oregon. The program is data driven to achieve the greatest benefits in crash reduction and should be blind to jurisdiction. A portion of the ARTS funding is dedicated to a systemic approach that identifies a few proven low-cost measures to implement widely, and then put those measures into effect where there is evidence that they would be most useful. Local agencies and ODOT regions submit applications for bicycle and pedestrian projects to support this systemic approach. Region ARTS representatives are listed on the program page.
The Oregon Department of Transportation's Bridge Section coordinates selection and funding of Federal Highway Bridge Program bridges through the Local Agency Bridge Selection Committee, a committee of city, county, and state representatives. Local agency bridges are prioritized using a Technical Ranking System and selected in categories of Large (30,000+ square feet of deck area), Small On-System, and Small Off-System.
Connect Oregon: Connect Oregon is a competitive grant program that invests in air, rail, marine, and bicycle/pedestrian infrastructure to ensure Oregon’s transportation system is strong, diverse, and efficient. Connect Oregon projects are eligible for grants that cover up to 70 percent of project costs. A minimum 30 percent cash match is required from the recipient for all grant funded projects (except Class I Railroads which now have a 50 percent match). 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 Connect Oregon funding.
Immediate Opportunity Fund: The purpose of the Immediate Opportunity Fund, or IOF, is to support primary economic development in Oregon through the construction and improvement of streets and roads. Access to this fund is discretionary and the fund may only be used when other sources of financial support are unavailable or insufficient. The IOF is not a replacement or substitute for other funding sources.
A federal program that provides emergency funding for repair or reconstruction of highways and roads damaged during natural disasters or catastrophic failures. ODOT’s Maintenance and Operations Branch administers the Emergency Operations Program and can assist local agencies navigate the ER process.
Fund Exchange: A process whereby cities, counties, and small metropolitan planning organizations can exchange federal Surface Transportation Program dollars for state funds.
Oregon Transportation Infrastructure Bank, or OTIB: A statewide revolving loan fund designed to promote innovative financing solutions for transportation needs. All local agencies are eligible to apply for OTIB funding.
Public Transportation Funding Opportunities: ODOT’s Public Transit Section provides grants to communities and local transportation providers who offer public transportation. If this is your agency's first time applying for a Public Transit Section grant, please contact your area's Regional Transit Coordinator for more information and to discuss your eligibility.
Small City Allotment: An annual allocation of state funds for local transportation projects. Through an agreement between the League of Oregon Cities and ODOT, ODOT sets aside $5,000,000 each year (half from city gas tax revenue and half from the State Highway Fund) for cities under 5,000 residents.
2019 Grant Award Recipients
All Roads Transportation Safety: The All Roads Transportation Safety, or ARTS, Program is designed to address safety needs on all public roads in Oregon. The program is data driven to achieve the greatest benefits in crash reduction and should be blind to jurisdiction. The available money is separated into two categories — systemic and hot spots. Systemic project are proven, low-cost measures that have successfully reduced the occurrence of fatal and serious injury crashes and that can be widely implemented, like rumble strips on the shoulder of the road. Hot spots are identified by a higher than normal crash occurrence. These are often higher cost projects and are targeted to a specific segment of roadway or intersection.Local agencies and ODOT regions submit applications to the region ARTS representative. Please see the program page linked above for more information
Safety Grantee Resources: The Transportation Safety Division administers grants that adhere to our mission to deliver transportation safety programs to Oregon citizens. Typically, grants are awarded to states, local governments, colleges and universities, and non-profit organizations.
The Transportation Options, or TO, program focuses on implementation of the Oregon Transportation Options Plan, including: managing demand across the transportation system; educating students and the public on travel options and how to safely use them; connecting veterans, low income populations, communities of color, and others with ways to get to and from work or school; supporting vanpooling; and more.
Innovation Grants: A grant program that supports the implementation of the Oregon Transportation Options Plan. This funding cycle’s focus is the creation of replicable resource materials, outreach strategies and/or tools, or new innovative approaches to expand the reach, awareness, and use of Oregon’s transportation options. The maximum award is $50,000. The application process for 2018 closed March 16, 2018.
Sponsorships: A grant program that supports activities that encourage Oregonians to try transportation options. Examples of eligible activities include:
The maximum award is $5,000. The application process begins in February and closes in mid-March. The next cycle begins in February 2019. Check back here for details.
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