Oregon approves federal relief funding for roadways

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The Oregon Transportation Commission recently approved spending $124 million in federal COVID-19 relief funding on the state’s roads.

A total of $56 million will be provided to local governments based on their share of the State Highway Fund.

County road departments are responsible for more than 3,400 bridges and 32,000 road miles, most of the state’s public road system.

A total of $36 million will be used for maintenance on state highways, and $32 million will be used to make the state highway system accessible for Oregonians with disabilities.

“We’re grateful that Congress recognized the pandemic’s impact to transportation agencies across the country and took action,” Robert Van Brocklin, Oregon Transportation Commission chairman, said. “This funding will help keep Oregonians safe by reducing cuts to critical road maintenance.”

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and recession, the Oregon Department of Transportation estimates revenue in the State Highway Fund dropped approximately $225 million.

In addition, the federal legislation also included funding for public transit. Oregon will use $225 million on transit.

Oregon has received more than $500 million in federal public transportation relief funding to help cover lost revenue and higher costs. The majority of funding received in December will go directly to the large urban transit providers.