Oregon’s economy depends on a good transportation system
Updated research looks in-depth at road conditions and how they relate to the economy
In order to be competitive in global markets, Oregon needs an efficient transportation system to move goods and people reliably, safely and affordably. Oregon is a trade-dependent state, relying heavily on exports from our farms, forests and factories to create jobs. The state’s transportation system is vital to Oregon’s economy: one in five jobs in Oregon is transportation- and trade-related. At our current rates of investment, the state’s roads will deteriorate and the impacts will be far-reaching.
Rough Roads Ahead 2 Report
Over half of Oregon’s 2,736 state highway bridges were built before 1970. Most of these bridges have reached or exceeded their 50-year design life and were not built to withstand a major seismic event; they require replacement or major repair in the near future.
The current ODOT bridge budget is able to fund an average of three bridge replacements a year. At this rate it would take over 900 years to replace Oregon’s state bridges.
Nearly one third of state highway bridges are forecast to be in poor condition by 2036, with more than 370 bridges projected to be weight restricted, forcing heavy trucks to detour and taking a significant toll on local roads and the economy. The report estimates that by 2036 Oregon will have at least 75,000 fewer jobs than if we keep bridges from deteriorating, and the state will have given up $150 billion in gross domestic product.
ODOT’s current pavement budget is insufficient to preserve and maintain the 8,032 miles of state highways. Without additional investment, by 2036, nearly half of state highway pavement will be in poor condition. The 2016 Pavement Conditions Report shows the importance of taking care of pavement now instead of later – for example, the typical cost to preserve pavement through resurfacing is about $200,000 for each lane mile, while reconstructing that same lane mile after it fails can reach $1.5 million.
Timely maintenance and preservation by performing the right treatment to the right road at the right time is by far the most efficient way to preserve the public’s investment. Failure to keep roads in a state of good repair has exponentially greater costs – in jobs, financially and in lost production – than maintaining the system properly over time.
View the interactive map illustrating the Pavement Conditions report in a new window.