State transportation plan: Washington County nets projects
The Legislature this week passed a $5.3 billion package of transportation projects, stretched over a 10-year period and paid for through increases in the gas tax, registration fees and new taxes on payroll, new vehicle purchases and bicycles priced more than $200.
The package passed both chambers by more than 60 percent — the "supermajority" needed to OK any tax increase in Oregon. It now heads to Gov. Kate Brown for her signature.
Details of the proposal show a wide array of projects identified for Washington County and surrounding regions. They include investments in:
• $22 million for design work on The Newberg-Dundee Bypass and Highway 99W.
• $44 million for Highway 217 southbound through Beaverton. Another $54 million for Highway 217 northbound in the same area.
The package of proposals also includes four increases in the gas tax, stretched over a seven-year period. Transportation projects within cities and counties would benefit from the additional revenue, including:
• Beaverton: $2.4 million.
• Tigard: $1.3 million.
• Tualatin: $678,000
• Durham: $47,000
• King City: $89,000
• Hillsboro: $2.5 million.
• Washington County: $13 million.
Other key investments, to be shared statewide, include $10 million per year for a program called Safe Routes to Schools, which provides funds for crosswalks, lights, sidewalks and other investments to make school zones safer. That investment increases to $15 million per year by 2023.
The bill includes $130 million per year for statewide transit programs. The idea is to improve the connectivity and frequency of bus service in rural, suburban and urban communities, making it easier for people to take mass transit between cities.
Finally, the package includes $1.2 million per year for bike and pedestrian safety projects statewide.