What the INVEST in America Act could mean for NW Oregon
Five high-profile projects in Northwest Oregon could be getting a financial kickstart, should a five-year transportation package make it to President Joe Biden's desk.
INVEST in America Act, which passed the House earlier this month, would provide $715 billion to update roads, bridges and public transportation across the country. This bipartisan bill is separate from the major infrastructure plan Biden has been touting since he took office.
U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici secured $19.36 million within the transportation bill to go toward five transportation projects in Northwest Oregon. Bonamici represents Oregon's First Congressional District, which includes Washington, Yamhill, Clatsop and Columbia counties and part of Multnomah County.
"The INVEST in America Act addresses the infrastructure needs of NW Oregon and the country, helps mitigate the climate crisis, and creates good-paying jobs," Bonamici said in an emailed statement.
The Senate has until Oct. 1 to vote on the bill.
Here is a rundown of the five projects that could benefit from these federal infrastructure funds:
Beaverton Downtown Loop
A project in downtown Beaverton to widen sidewalks and expand pedestrian and transit access in predominantly low-income neighborhoods would receive $4 million under the infrastructure proposal.
The goal of the project is to make the city more walkable, by adding new protected bike lanes, pedestrian crossing treatments and bus stops to emphasize safety.
The Beaverton City Council has been advocating for federal funding to make the project happen.
Central Beaverton has undergone major revitalization over the past several years — including new apartment buildings, restaurants, hotels and even a food cart pod — leading to an uptick in foot traffic.
The #INVESTact includes several projects I championed for NW Oregon:— Suzanne Bonamici (@RepBonamici) July 1, 2021
ðŸšˆ Beaverton Downtown Loop
ðŸš¶â€Main Avenue/OR 104 Pedestrian Route in Warrenton
ðŸš— Newberg-Dundee Bypass
ðŸš¸ Safety Investments in NW Portland
ðŸš Tualatin Valley Highway
Learn more: https://t.co/rHxfc8YhQt
Tualatin Valley Highway
A 19-mile stretch of Highway 8, colloquially known as TV Highway, would receive $4 million for some long-overdue safety improvements. Much of the highway is poorly lit and lacks complete sidewalks in unincorporated Aloha and between Hillsboro and Cornelius.
The corridor has seen many high-profile crashes over the years — some of them fatal, such as when a Cornelius resident was struck and killed January 2020 while crossing the highway to catch the bus on her way to work.
Bonamici told Pamplin Media Group on June 3 that she would do all she could to "advocate for the project."
Past efforts to fund the project included a $5.4 billion bond measure that voters rejected last fall.
Improving safety on the Tualatin Valley Highway is a high priority for @WashcoOregon and for the people I represent. Iâ€™m advocating for $4 million in federal funding so pedestrians can safely use this road to get around and access transit. @washcoroads pic.twitter.com/09hUjfwlMm— Suzanne Bonamici (@RepBonamici) June 3, 2021
The Newberg-Dundee Bypass project is poised to receive $8 million as it heads toward its next phase.
Phase 1 of the project connected Highway 99W and Highway 219 in Yamhill County.
The Oregon Department of Transportation is in the process of designing Phase 2, which would extend the roadway at Highway 219 through the south side of Newburg.
Construction of Phase 2 is estimated to cost around $200 million, according to ODOT.
Pedestrian safety sidewalk in Warrenton
A pedestrian safety sidewalk project near Warrenton High School in Clatsop County would receive $1.36 million.
As of now, there is no dedicated walkway for students walking along Main Street between the grade school and the high school in Warrenton.
The project would also provide a separated, ADA-accessible walkway on the west side of Highway 104 and the ODOT right-of-way. Enhanced crosswalks would also be established on Highway 104 between the grade school and high school.
Safety improvements in downtown Portland
Downtown Portland would receive $2 million for safety improvements to ease traffic congestion and bus efficiency.
The Portland Bureau of Transportation has been working on a wide-reaching campaign called Central City in Motion. Projects within that campaign include streets, sidewalks, and bus and bicycle lanes throughout downtown Portland.
The $2 million would go toward improvements along Northwest and Southwest Broadway from Southwest Lincoln Street to Northwest Johnson Street. Improvements will include safer crossings, new streetlights, a protected bikeway amd smart traffic signals.
Rep. Earl Blumenauer also advocated for this project.
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