Connect Oregon continues creating successes

Construction began in July on Flanders Crossing, a new pedestrian and bicycle bridge over I‐405 at NW Flanders Street in Portland. When complete, Flanders Crossing will be 24-feet wide and stretch 200 feet across I-405, with two-way access for pedestrians and people on bikes. It will also serve as a seismic lifeline route in the case of a major earthquake.

Multi-use path in Medford
The Larson Creek Multi-use Path in Medford was funded in part by Connect Oregon dollars.

Meanwhile, a smaller project in Medford is wrapping up: a 12-foot-wide, paved shared-use path approximately 3,500 feet long, from Ellendale Drive to Black Oak Drive. The project includes the street crossings on each end, at Ellendale Drive and Black Oak Drive.

What do these projects have in common aside from improving access and safety for bicyclists and pedestrians? Both of these multimodal projects have as part of their funding significant contributions from the Connect Oregon program. Connect Oregon, managed by ODOT’s Statewide Investments Management Program, is funded through lottery bonds.

“We’ve been closing out quite a few projects in the past couple of months,” said Cece Gilbert, program analyst.

Connect Oregon started in 2006 and quickly showed success as a way to fund multimodal projects: rail, transit, bike/ped, air and marine/ports. The program changed several times over the years but has always resulted in projects with multiple benefits, such as the Fred Wahl Marine project on the central Oregon coast. The company – the largest private employer in Reedsport – received a $3.4 million Connect Oregon grant to build a nine-story shipbuilding facility. That investment has boosted the coastal community’s economy, created jobs and helped support shipping – even through economic challenges.

Many more projects are coming to completion, and we’ll feature some of them here on Transportation Insights. Stay tuned!