Investing in Oregon's transportation future
Connect Oregon is an initiative established by the 2005 state
legislature to invest in non-highway modes of transportation. Future rounds of
the program will fund aviation, rail, and marine projects, and previous rounds
included bicycle/pedestrian and transit projects. These infrastructure projects
ensure Oregon’s transportation system is strong, diverse, and efficient. For
the $477 million awarded through Connect Oregon I through VI (including CORA
and the Dedicated Projects) there have been:
- 603 project applications
- 285 projects funded,
- $1.003 billion in grants and
The passage of HB 2017 in 2017 and HB 2592 made significant changes to the Connect Oregon program:
- Four dedicated projects must be funded prior to a competitive program:
- Treasure Valley Reload Center ($26 million).
- Rail expansion at the Port of Morrow ($6.55 million).
- Rail siding extension for Amtrak Cascade line ($2.6
- Mid-Willamette Valley Intermodal Facility ($25
Future Competitive Rounds
available funds must first go to the projects
listed above, we do not anticipate that there will be funding available until
towards the end 2021-23 biennium for a competitive Connect Oregon program. We
will update the program’s website when ODOT is ready to launch a competitive
program and/or if there are changes to the anticipated funding.
To implement the
changes from HB 2017 and HB 2592, ODOT convened a Rules Advisory Committee for the Connect Oregon Program. The Committee adopted a set of
recommend rules which are anticipated to be finalized by the Oregon
Transportation Commission in early 2020. A public hearing on the draft rules will be held on November 20, 2019 - for more information on the rule adoption schedule, follow the link for the RAC.
With the separation of
bicycle/pedestrian projects into the Multimodal Active Transportation fund, new rules for this fund are also anticipated
to be established in early 2020.
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 highway fund revenues that come primarily from state fuel taxes, vehicle title and registration fees, and heavy truck fees (section 3a, Article IX of the Oregon Constitution, the Highway Trust Fund), are not eligible for Connect Oregon 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.