Next summer, work crews will construct a safer pedestrian route along busy Verboort Road so students won’t have to dodge cars as they walk to school.

The project was chosen last year by the Washington County Deptartment of Land Use & Transportation’s Minor Betterment Program, which is now accepting applications through July 15 for the next round of projects.

The annual program distributes a total of $500,000 in state gas-tax money among five or six small-scale improvements on roads and paths that are requested by the public. The Verboort Road project will cost a little under $27,000.

“Anyone can submit a proposal for an improvement,” said Victoria Saager, public information officer for the department. “As long as the project addresses a safety or connectivity issue on a county road.”

Winning proposals are selected by the Minor Betterment Selection Committee, a body of representatives from the Rural Roads, Urban Roads, and Citizen Involvement committees.

The program is highly competitive; only about five or six projects are completed out of hundreds of proposals, but a proposal’s odds improve if it gathers enough community support. “If neighbors rally around a project it attracts attention,” said Saager.

Proposals for the 2015-16 budget must be submitted by July 15, and there will be a chance for public comment in September this year before the committee makes its final recommendation in October. “Proposals submitted late will be considered by next year’s committee,” added Saager.

Proposals can be submitted online at or by contacting the Operations & Maintenance Division at 503-846-7623 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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