The Oregon Department of Transportation is the 2006 recipient of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Legacy Project Award for its unique Bridge Delivery Program—a $1.3 billion enterprise aimed at repairing and replacing hundreds of the state’s bridges.
Each year during its annual meeting, AASHTO recognizes a project or program by the host state transportation department that benefits the public in the area of history, culture and overall well-being. This year, AASHTO is recognizing the Oregon Department of Transportation for its Oregon Transportation Investment Act III State Bridge Delivery Program, which was passed by state legislature in 2003 and benefiting Oregonians statewide.
OTIA III is part of the broader OTIA program that became law in 2001 and is providing a $3 billion investment in all of the state’s highways, roads and bridges over 10 years. Oregon has not seen an investment of this magnitude in highway and bridge construction since the state’s Interstate Highway System was built in the 1950s and ‘60s.
"States across the country are simulating the Oregon model in making long-term investments in transportation infrastructure using innovative financial techniques such as those pioneered by ODOT," said AASHTO President Harold Linnenkohl, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Transportation. "With aggressive financing and building programs now, DOTs are getting a jump on building and restoring existing infrastructure that will be needed as our economy continues to grow.
Under the Oregon DOT’s guidance, OTIA III is maintaining freight mobility and keeping traffic moving. OTIA III is mobilizing Oregon’s workforce, as well as minimizing construction delays. OTIA III is also including input from businesses, communities and regulatory agencies to arrive at fiscally feasible and context-sensitive solutions.
Oregon DOT Director Matthew Garrett said: "We are very proud of this program, and we are proud that we are delivering the program successfully because of our great ODOT employees and our business partners in the private sector. This was a new way of doing business in Oregon, and we continue to search for new ways to improve our infrastructure so that we can make Oregon a better place for business and a better place to live.
"On behalf of Governor Ted Kulongoski, who proposed the program; the Oregon Legislature, which enabled the funding; and, for all who work on the 365 bridges, I am happy to accept the 2006 AASHTO Legacy Project Award."
The Legacy Award will be presented during a ceremony at the AASHTO Annual Meeting trade fair on Friday, October 27. The Oregon DOT will have a booth on display at the trade fair, with more information on OTIA III.
"Maintaining and replacing aging bridges now is key to ensuring future mobility needs of everyone traveling in the state," said AASHTO Executive Director John Horsley. "By setting this program in motion, the Oregon DOT is establishing a legacy as a forward-thinking transportation department."
AASHTO, founded in 1914, represents the state transportation departments for all 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. It advocates transportation-related policies and provides technical services to support states in their efforts to efficiently and safely move people and goods.