SALEM, OR -- The Oregon Transportation Commission recently approved spending nearly $50 million on 39 projects around the state. The money comes from a program called Connect Oregon. Each year, the Legislature approves a certain amount of money to be dedicated toward transportation projects. "They’re not going to be, you know, your roads and your bridges," says Shelley Snow, with the Oregon Department of Transportation.
"Whether it’s building a new transit facility, where the busses are going to be where and people can have the one location to make all their connections; or an improvement to a railroad that allows a company to start using that rail again," says Snow, "You’re putting money into a community with local contractors doing local jobs." Funded projects include the Redmond canal trail, a Portland pedestrian bridge, improvements to an Astoria pier and an airport rappel base in La Grande to support firefighting operations.
Connect Oregon was first approved by the Legislature in 2005. It has funded more than 180 projects totaling $380 million.