PORTLAND – Oregon will spend $9 million on a revived effort to replace the Interstate Bridge over the Columbia River, a decision officials say is intended to show the state’s growing commitment to the project.
The Oregonian/OregonLive reported top transportation decisionmakers approved a plan Friday to direct a large share of unanticipated federal money toward the bridge project.
The funding plan comes days after Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek and Senate President Peter Courtney appointed a new joint state committee to oversee the effort.
Thanks to congressional budget deals funneling more money toward infrastructure in the past two years, Oregon expects to receive anywhere from $25 million to $30 million in federal dollars not accounted for during the state’s four-year transportation capital spending plan.
The state faces a Sept. 30 deadline to show the federal government it’s serious about reviving bridge talks with Washington.
If Oregon and Washington don’t show progress, a $140 million bill for previous planning costs tied to the failed Columbia River Crossing project comes due.
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