The Oregon Transportation Commission has approved nearly $100
million for new projects throughout the state, but it’s not going for roads.
The money is earmarked for air, rail, water and public transit.
If re-elected this November, Gov. Ted Kulongoski told the commission he
would ask the state’s Legislature to chip in another $100 million for a similar
round of transportation work, The Associated
Press reported. He said he would target lottery-backed bonds to pay
Kulongoski said in a statement that both amounts would mean “better
integration of the many parts of our transportation system, with a smoother
flow of commerce and fewer delays.”
The Port of Portland will get an infusion of more than $16 million for
three projects. Other projects included are improvements to rail yards in
southern and eastern Oregon.
“It’s critical that we tie our ports with the railroads, and the
railroads with our highways,” Stuart Foster, the commission’s chairman, told Salem’s Statesman Journal.
The first $100 million initially was approved during the 2005
Legislature. It followed an infusion of $3 billion in bonds, backed by higher
licensing fees for highway and bridge work that were approved in the three
previous legislative sessions.
The money will be released once contracts for each project are signed, The AP reported. The money could not go
for any project that could be paid for by highway funds.