With most priorities and projects in the 2017 transportation package moving forward, the transportation focus for the 2023 legislative session will be on funding the replacement of the Interstate 5 bridge. The bridge is in critical need of replacement. More than $70 million in freight crosses the bridge every day amid congestion that persists for seven to 10 hours. Both bridge spans are aging and extremely vulnerable to seismic events. The bridge must allow people to move more efficiently and safely through additional multimodal transportation options for transit riders, cyclists and pedestrians while also offering expanded vehicle capacity to move people and freight. The cost of the project is expected to exceed $5 billion, and some sources of funding have yet to be determined. The availability of federal funds – and the viability of the project – hinge on Oregon’s identification of funding sources for its $1 billion share. The state also needs to address many issues related to tolling.
Infrastructure Improvements: OBI supports expanded and enhanced multimodal transportation infrastructure to improve both people and freight mobility to support statewide economic growth.
Interstate Bridge: OBI supports the collaboration with the state of Washington to replace the Interstate 5 bridge and will advocate for funding mechanisms that do not unfairly burden Oregon businesses.
HB 2017 Projects: OBI supports the completion of HB 2017 transportation package projects.
Alternative Fuel: OBI supports alternative vehicle infrastructure investment and incentive programs that support existing and new vehicle technologies.
Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act: OBI supports funding and implementation of infrastructure projects that are a high priority for businesses such as the Interstate 5 bridge replacement project.
Tolling: OBI supports tolling that achieves dual goals of managing congestion and raising revenue in amounts that help fund strategic infrastructure projects while balancing revenue needs among transportation system users.
Public Transit: OBI supports revenue sources that fund critical public services that will not place a disproportionate burden on state or regional employers and employees. OBI opposes the creation of new funding mechanisms to subsidize public transit programs throughout the state unless funding is broad-based and tied to the benefits derived by those paying fees or taxes.
Highway Funds: OBI supports long-term, sustainable funding streams for the state’s roads, bridges, and resiliency needs. Funding could include equitably increasing the fuels tax and vehicle fees, alternative options, and tolling, among others.
Brian Shipley, PeaceHealth
Rich White, The Boeing Company