ODOT gets $1 million to clean up wildfire damage
Oregon's Department of Transportation will get a $1 million grant to clean up roads and highways damaged or threatened by the summer's wildfires, thanks to work by the state's congressional delegation led by its two U.S. senators.
Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley said Tuesday, Sept. 19, that the U.S. Department of Transportation would provide ODOT an emergency relief grant to fund repairs or reconstruction of highways and roads that were damaged by more than a dozen Oregon wildfires that have burned hundreds of thousands of acres.
"As our state continues to battle devastating wildfires, these emergency resources will provide much-needed help to Oregonians counting on our roads and highways to get around," Wyden said. "Much work must still be done to recover and rebuild from these destructive blazes and this grant is a good step forward on that path."
Members of the state's congressional delegation pressed the Trump administration to provide more money to fight Oregon's wildfires, outlined in a funding request by Gov. Kate Brown.
Oregon's section of Interstate 84 between Troutdale and Hood River has been hard hit by the Eagle Creek Fire. The highway was closed for several days during the early stages of the fire. Westbound lanes were reopened last week, but eastbound lanes remained closed as state crews cleared damaged trees and shored up rocks that could have been loosened by the fire.