April 10 2021
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What does Biden's infrastructure plan mean for Oregon?
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Story by Keaton Thomas KATU Staff - Story Source
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  President Joe Biden's plan to bolster infrastructure spending The meaning of Biden's infrastructure plan  
PORTLAND, Ore. — President Joe Biden introduced his plan this week to bolster infrastructure spending, which would likely mean a cash infusion for Oregon and Washington.

Among other priorities, Biden's plan includes billions of dollars dedicated to road and bridge projects. Transportation officials around Portland are paying close attention. An influx of cash could help pay for several projects in the region and may reduce future tolling on a new Interstate Bridge.

"The level of investment that's being proposed by the president and in Congress would be very large and could be transformative for the transportation system," said Travis Brouwer, assistant director for Revenue, Finance, and Compliance with the Oregon Department of Transportation.

There are hundreds of roads and bridges around the state in poor condition, according to Brouwer.

In its Report Card for America's Infrastructure, the American Society of Civil Engineers gave Oregon a C- grade. It recommended the state make seismic improvements to withstand a major earthquake.

Provided the president's funding bill makes it through Congress, Brouwer pointed to several projects that could benefit from additional federal funds, including widening and seismic improvements to the I-205 Abernethy Bridge near Oregon City, widening and seismic upgrades to the I-5 Boone Bridge near Wilsonville, and congestion improvements in the Rose Quarter.

"This funding that would prioritize fixing our roads, making them safer, making them accessible for all users would be huge for us to build that modern transportation system we're trying to have," said Brouwer. Read full story