Public input on recommended ConnectOregon projects
The Oregon Transportation Commission will hold a public hearing during its regular meeting on July 17 in Salem to receive public testimony regarding ConnectOregon V project funding recommendations. The meeting will be held at the Salem Convention Center, 200 Commercial St. SE, Salem, Oregon 97301 and the public input period will begin at 1:35 p.m. Written testimony can be submitted through July 25 to: ConnectOregon@odot.state.or.us or via hard copy to: ODOT, Attn: Chris Cummings, 555 13 St. NE, Salem, Oregon 97301.
A final review committee forwarded a prioritized list of recommendations to the OTC in June; the applications were also reviewed and prioritized earlier by modal committees and regional/geographic committees. The commission will make a final decision regarding project funding at its August 21-22 meeting in Ontario, Oregon. OTC agendas are available online.
Final review Committee Recommendations to the OTC
Thirty-seven multimodal projects from around the state top the list of recommendations for $42,369,189 million in funding, provided by the ConnectOregon V program. (Savings from earlier ConnectOregon projects added $369,189.63 to the legislatively-approved $42 million.) The program’s final review committee met in Portland yesterday to discuss and prioritize recommendations from several earlier volunteer review committees. Recommended projects, ranging from railroad improvements to bicycle paths, now go to the Oregon Transportation Commission for final approval.
The OTC will hold a public hearing on the recommendations at its July 17 meeting in Salem and make a final decision at its August 21-22 meeting in Ontario.
A summary of the recommended projects shows 15 percent of funds going to aviation projects; 17 percent going to bicycle/pedestrian projects; 26 percent going to port/marine projects; 32 percent going to rail projects; and 8 percent going to transit projects. The legislation requires no less than 10 percent of the funds be distributed to each of the state's five geographic regions, provided there are qualified projects in the region. The summary shows that requirement was met. For ConnectOregon V, 104 applications, requesting a total of $124,386,927, were evaluated by modal committees and regional committees before going to the final review committee. ConnectOregon includes both grants and loans for private sector applicants, municipalities, cities, counties, governing organizations, and other transportation-related entities. Criteria for qualified projects include readiness for construction, economic benefit and value in linking transportation modes.
ConnectOregon V Application Materials
Applications and support materials for ConnectOregon V are now available and are listed below. We strongly recommend following the Application Instructions carefully throughout the application process.
Please Note: When submitting your application via the ODOT FTP site, please disregard the step about creating a new folder within the ConnectOregon directory and do the following:
- Create a folder on your computer with the naming convention specified in the Application Instructions.
- Place all application materials into the folder.
- Drag and drop the folder into the ConnectOregon directory. Please refer to the Application Instructions regarding this step.
For technical submission issues, contact Rebecca Coffelt (503-986-4254).
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.
New for ConnectOregon V:
While the ConnectOregon program remains mostly the same as it was in previous rounds, there are a few changes for ConnectOregon V. ConnectOregon staff will be working over the next few months to update program materials and rules.
- ConnectOregon V has $42 million available for projects.
- Bicycle and Pedestrian projects have been added to the modes eligible for funding. The Oregon Bike and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (OBPAC) will be responsible for evaluating bicycle and pedestrian projects.
- Grant recipients will be required to develop and report on performance measures for their project.
- Certain eligibility restrictions will apply to railroads located solely within Linn and Benton counties which may charge landowners fees for easements.
- Approved projects will have a portion of their funds withheld until project completion (4%) and final submission of performance measurement reports (1%).
- Rules will be updated and posted on the ConnectOregon website within the next month.
Communications and Outreach
Communication channels to be used:
This webpage will contain up-to-date information about the program. Also, an electronic newsletter will provide interested groups and individuals with the latest news.
How applicants and other interested parties can keep current on progress or changes in the program:
To receive email updates regarding the ConnectOregon V process, please sign up for the electronic newsletter. The ConnectOregon web site will contain updates as well as other important information. Interested parties may also contact ConnectOregon by email and ask to be added to the electronic mailing list for ConnectOregon. Everyone on the email list will receive notification as updates are released.
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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