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Oregon will spend $9M on new Interstate Bridge project

August 17, 2019

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — 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 reports 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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Information from: The Oregonian/OregonLive, http://www.oregonlive.com

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