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ODOT/OTC release stimulus funds application, process details

Posted by on March 3rd, 2009 at 1:19 pm

“The OTC also recognizes the need to balance highway needs with other modal needs.”
– From a statement released by ODOT today

The Oregon Transportation Commission (OTC), acting on behalf of the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), has announced the application process and more details on how they’ll allocate their remainder of federal stimulus funds.

The OTC approved 31 projects totaling $122 million as part of their first phase of funding decisions. In Phase II, the OTC will have about $110 million to assign to transportation projects throughout the state.

In Phase I, the OTC decided to fund just one bike/ped project. However, the word on the street is that this second round is going to be more bike and pedestrian project friendly than the initial allocation. In the introduction to the application just sent out by ODOT is the following paragraph:

The OTC is committed to selecting projects that can be completed during the 2009 construction season and that generate immediate living-wage jobs for Oregonians. The OTC also recognizes the need to balance highway needs with other modal needs.

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But, anyone with a bike/ped project they’d like to get funded has to act fast. Applications are due at ODOT by 5:00pm on March 9th. Two days later, the commission will hold a special meeting in Salem to allow testimony by applicants. On March 18th, the OTC will make their final decisions.

Taking a look at the application, I see that the following types of projects are eligible for this money:

1. Highway
2. Rail
3. Transit
4. Transportation Enhancement [often includes bike/ped projects]
5. Bike/Pedestrian
6. Port Projects

And under the heading of “Criteria”, four main points are listed:
“Project Readiness”,

“Can the project be contracted for by June 17, 2009 in order to create jobs this summer?”

“Economic Impact”,

“Describe the number of jobs created, sustained, or saved. Identify the short-term and long-term economic benefits of the project.”

“Location”,

“Describe how the project benefits the transportation system in the State of Oregon. Describe how the project improves the efficiency and/or safety of the transportation system. Does it provide linkages within the transportation system?”

“Leverage”,

“If the project leverages other funds, identify the additional funds being leveraged and any other benefits associated with the combining of multiple funds.”

Now, let’s see if bike/ped projects do any better this time around (and, whether or not any transit projects make the list).

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Comments
  • Scott Mizée March 3, 2009 at 1:27 pm

    Why are these ALWAYS biased towards CONSTRUCTION jobs?!!??! Don’t these people understand that people have to DESIGN them to? Engineers, Architects, and Planners are all “living wage” jobs that need to be funded too! Maybe this just hits to close to home for me. I just don’t understand why we can only pay for jobs that are building right now and not jobs that are designing right now…

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  • John Reinhold March 3, 2009 at 1:34 pm

    Metro got 38 million of the stimulus package for Transportation and the Metro committee JPACT is voting on the project list this Thursday. I believe the public comment period closes today.

    http://www.oregonmetro.gov/index.cfm/go/by.web/id=29555

    Make your comments heard!

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  • Scott Mizée March 3, 2009 at 1:38 pm

    You are correct, John.

    List of projects is available here broken down by jurisdiction.

    Economic stimulus local project list (111K pdf)

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  • Robert Ping March 4, 2009 at 10:25 am

    Hi Scott, I am finding that DOT’s are nervous about making the deadlines imposed by the Recovery Act, namely that half of the stimulus money has to be obligated within 120 days and the remaining half within one year. It would be too quick of a turnaround to start a new federally-funded project and get it ready within 120 days, but the one year turnaround is possible for smaller bike/ped and Safe Routes to School projects.

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