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Salem OR  97301

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News Release

 

                                                                        February 14, 2013

 

Senate OKs Bill to Fill Funding Gap

For Woodburn Interchange Project


(SALEM) – The Oregon Senate gave unanimous approval Thursday to a measure that will ensure full funding for the new I-5 interchange project at Woodburn.

 

At the request of the Oregon Department of Transportation, Senate Bill 258 moves $10 million from the Beltline interchange project in Eugene where the funding isn’t needed to the Woodburn project.

 

Both projects were part of the Jobs and Transportation Act passed by the Legislature in 2009. The Woodburn project needs the $10 million allocation because it did not receive a previously expected congressional earmark.

 

“This is a smart use of our financial resources,” Senate President Peter Courtney said. “The Woodburn interchange project is critical to improving safety and traffic flow along I-5 in north Marion County. With this bill, we can make the upgrades without any additional state debt.”

 

“This will be a great boost to our local economy and a goal that the Woodburn community has been working on for 25 years.” said State Representative Betty Komp (D-Woodburn). “Projects like this create good paying construction jobs in the short term and help speed goods to markets in the long term.”

 

The lawmakers said the Woodburn interchange is the gateway to some of the most popular annual community events and festivals in the state. The planned changes will ease traffic congestion that now takes place at peak periods of the year.

 

The bill was carried on the floor by Sen. Bruce Starr (R-Hillsboro).

 

In addition, SB 258 moves surplus funding from one set of projects to another set in Baker County and instructs the Oregon Transportation Commission to move any leftover funds in the Highway 26/Glencoe project to the Highway 26/Shute Road project.

 

The measure now moves to the House for consideration.

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