Media Room


Governor Kate Brown
Recognition of ODOT’s Matt Garrett and OreGO – HB 2881 Bill Signing
Thursday, June 20, 2019

I’m here today to express my gratitude and best wishes to Matt Garrett.

Matt Garrett has worked at ODOT for more than 22 years, including serving as a local government liaison, Senior Policy Advisor to Director Grace Crunican, and Region 1 Manager.

He has served as Director of ODOT for more than 13 years, a period spanning more than a quarter of ODOT’s half-century of existence, and longer than any other currently-serving state department of transportation director in the entire nation.

I want to share just a few of his most noteworthy accomplishments during his tenure:

● His leadership was critical to the development, passage, and successful implementation of HB 2017, the most significant and comprehensive investment in Oregon’s
    transportation system in history. His leadership was instrumental on the development of the Jobs and Transportation Act of 2009.

● Prior to being director, Garrett was a leading force in the development of the Area Commissions on Transportation across the state. They have become critical forums for
   statewide transportation planning that has helped shape policy and projects throughout Oregon.

● Garrett led ODOT's historic implementation of OReGO, the nation's first Road Usage Charge. OReGO provides a fair and sustainable path to transition from a per-gallon charge to
   a per-mile charge. This system will enable us to maintain and improve Oregon’s transportation infrastructure in the face of growing fuel efficiency.

● Director Garrett’s leadership has helped ODOT evolve from a highway focus to a multimodal department of transportation. He helped ensure successful implementation and
   ongoing funding for the multimodal Connect Oregon program. He also played a key part in the agency’s growing role and responsibility for public transportation and active
   transportation infrastructure. A good example is the creation of the Statewide Transportation Improvement Fund and Safe Routes to School program under HB 2017.

In addition to all of this, Director Garrett has had an impact across the Oregon state enterprise. He’s played a leadership role in our Executive Leadership Team and mentored other agency heads. One of his proudest accomplishments, he said recently, was to help ODOT grow from a risk-averse organization to one that manages risk, creating opportunity for innovation. He not only brought that culture change into ODOT—he showed other agencies how to do it as well.

While those are all are noteworthy in and of themselves, Matt, we have one more job to finish together.

I mentioned the OreGO program. This session, HB 2881 was passed, outlining one more step toward sustainable funding through road usage charging. One more step forward paved by Matt Garrett and his team.

I’m pleased to sign it into law today right here and right now. Director Garrett, will you please come join me?