November 18, 2015

Wyden Spotlights Key Oregon Projects in Transportation Bill

Senator: Hood River, I-205 in Portland and Newberg-Dundee Bypass Would Benefit from Legislation

Washington, DC – U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) said today that a trio of essential highway projects in Oregon would benefit from a long-term plan to rebuild the national transportation infrastructure.

A member of the Transportation Infrastructure Conference Committee, Wyden praised the House bill for bringing new projects within national scenic areas into the mix for transportation funding, including bridges near Hood River and Cascade Locks.

He also cited another provision that upgrades both I-205 in Portland and the Newberg-Dundee Bypass to “high priority corridor” status, which means both routes would be poised right near the top of the list for future federal investment.

Wyden looks forward to working on these projects with both Oregon Rep. Peter DeFazio, who helped write the House bill; and Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley, a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee that shares jurisdiction over this essential work.

Wyden also said the committee’s top priority should be extending infrastructure programs for as long as five years to provide long-term certainty for state legislatures working on transportation planning.

“You can’t have a big league-economy with little-league infrastructure,” Wyden said.  “There’s no question that nearly three dozen short-term extensions of our highway funding program has been a little-league strategy.”

“Today that’s one step closer to changing,” he said, “as this conference committee begins work on a unified, long-term plan to rebuild this country’s transportation infrastructure.”