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Portland asks for as much as $47 million in federal funding for key infrastructure tasks


East 122nd Ave, one of the harmful streets in Portland, may see an inflow of federal funding. (Picture: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

President Biden’s Infrastructure Funding and Jobs Act (IIJA), handed final yr, has given Portland a chance to fund a number of key tasks.

Whereas this funding will probably be aggressive – many different businesses throughout the nation are lining as much as repair their uncared for infrastructure – the Portland Bureau of Transportation thinks we stand an opportunity to obtain funding for a number of tasks.

“We’ve had our sleeves rolled up for some time in Portland, and we’ve developed some actually good tasks that we expect can transfer ahead,” PBOT Analyst Mark Lear mentioned at Wednesday’s Portland Metropolis Council assembly. “We expect we’re in a powerful place.”

On Wednesday, Portland Metropolis Council agreed to ship off purposes for as much as $47 million in federal funding, distributed between the next tasks:

  • ‘Protected Methods on 122nd Avenue’ plan to handle security wants on east Portland’s 122nd Ave by way of the 122nd Avenue Plan. PBOT will ask for $20 million in federal Protected Streets for All funds with a $5 native match from Fixing Our Streets funds to make it safer to stroll, bike and use transit on 122nd Ave by way of quite a lot of proposed tasks.
  • Burgard Bridge Substitute – $16 million from the federal Railroad Crossing Elimination Program (RCEP) with an area match of $4 million to exchange the Burgard Bridge in north Portland. Based on PBOT, bridge is “a crucial hyperlink within the transportation community in North Portland, significantly for heavy freight motion, and is in very poor situation and seismically weak,” making it a excessive precedence for funding.
  • Central Eastside Railroad Crossing Elimination Research –  $1-1.5 million from the RCEP to “examine intimately the persistent and rising problem of lengthy freight practice blockages of a number of at-grade railroad crossings within the Central Eastside and determine tasks and techniques to handle these points.” The town will present a $400k in-kind match from already-budgeted Common Transportation Income within the planning division funds. (Take a look at our current story on this problem.)

PBOT says that if these grants are awarded, the resourced tasks wouldn’t change PBOTs present funds allocations.

Along with these three Portland-initiated tasks, Metropolis Council additionally formally gave their help to the Oregon Division of Transportation’s $100 million grant software to the federal Reconnecting Communities Pilot Program. This program supplies $1 billion in funding over the subsequent 5 years to mitigate a few of the harm city highways have prompted to many locations in America (as detailed visually within the NY Instances this week).

This $100 million grant would give the state, metropolis and its neighborhood associate, Albina Imaginative and prescient Belief (AVT), an preliminary funding to assemble I-5 freeway caps over the brand new Rose Quarter growth to “reconnect” the decrease Albina neighborhood.

PBOT Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty demonstrated robust help for this challenge at Wednesday’s Council assembly, showing relieved that the town, state and AVT may lastly come to an settlement on the I-5 freeway growth. (Those that are extra cautious of ODOT’s intentions with the freeway growth, nonetheless, are unlikely to be happy by the settlement.)

“For those who’d have advised me a yr or a yr and a half in the past that we’d be right here in partnership with ODOT, Albina Imaginative and prescient Belief and PBOT, I’d have advised you that you simply have been out of your thoughts,” Hardesty mentioned. “However the actuality is that the Rose Quarter challenge is now in a spot the place we now have the potential to get important federal sources to assist reimagine how we reconnect the neighborhood that was torn aside by earlier freeway growth tasks.”

Albina Imaginative and prescient Belief members will return to Council earlier than the October deadline for this grant and supply extra details about their plan for this grant funding, in addition to their plans to use for a planning grant for what to do with the freeway caps as soon as they’re constructed.

Based on PBOT, these received’t be the one alternatives for the town to get federal funds via the IIJA over the subsequent 5 years. We’ll preserve you posted on how these tasks transfer ahead.

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