ODOT Postpones Road Projects due to Federal Funding Uncertainty

The Oregon Department of Transportation has decided to postpone new road construction projects for at least a year pending more certainty about federal transportation funding.

The agency will delay updating its Statewide Transportation Improvement Program, which designates funding and scheduling for capital projects on federal, state, city and county roads.

David Kim, an ODOT manager for the west metro area, on Monday, June 9, briefed theWashington County Coordinating Committee, a group of mayors and other officials who meet every month to discuss transportation issues.

Kim presented the group with a letter from David Lohman, the chair of the Oregon Transportation Commission. In it, Lohman explains that ODOT’s State Highway Fund is largely being spent on debt service and highway maintenance, so STIP construction projects rely almost exclusively on federal funding. But the federal Highway Trust Fund faces an annual deficit of about $15 billion, and the federal gas tax has not been raised since 1993. (Read Lohman’s letter here.)