Transportation and Infrastructure
The responsibility of Congress to improve our transportation infrastructure and expand transit options in our communities is important. Investing in our transportation infrastructure is an economic multiplier—not only do we employ hard-working Americans by building and maintaining infrastructure, we also improve the way people get to work and goods get to market. Smart transportation projects—many decades in the making, like the Newberg-Dundee Bypass—will help transform our communities and ease congestion.
In 2015, I voted for a five-year, comprehensive surface transportation bill that authorizes federal highway, public transit, highway safety, and other safety programs. We need a long-term transportation bill to provide stability and certainty to communities, and often federal transportation dollars are an essential part of the funding needed to build and complete local projects. Before the five-year bill, there was uncertainty from repeated short-term extensions of transportation programs, and it was gratifying to help put that behind us. This legislation will bring at least $2.6 billion to Oregon for roads and bridges and at least $500 million for public transit. I was able to include in the bill a designation of the Newberg-Dundee Bypass as a High Priority Corridor, which will help our region make the case for continued funding and support.
Now that we have moved past the lengthy process of developing a transportation bill, we can begin a new conversation on transportation that will take our economy into the 21st century. Simply building new roads and maintaining old highways is not enough; we need to invest in new transportation policy and infrastructure—from high-speed rail to bicycle and pedestrian pathways. Looking ahead, I will be working with my colleagues on how we can improve and upgrade our multi-modal transportation system.
More on Transportation and Infrastructure
Don Watson, a retired McMinnville math teacher, told U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici at a town hall Monday he is concerned about gridlock in Congress.
“What can we do to increase bipartisanship, even with an administration that’s wacko?” he asked, drawing a chuckle from the 100 or so people gathered to speak with Bonamici at Chemeketa Community College’s McMinnville campus.
The City of Wilsonville's South Metro Area Regional Transit (SMART) agency has been awarded a $1.45 million grant by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) for the purchase of new electric-powered buses. Funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation's "Low or No-Emission (Low-No) Bus Program Projects," SMART plans to purchase two 35-foot battery-electric buses and their accompanying charging systems. The City of Wilsonville is providing a $400,000 match, giving the project a total amount of $1.85 million.