Governor Kitzhaber today commended the Oregon House for its bipartisan vote in support of HB 2800, which authorizes bond funding for Oregon's share of the Interstate 5 bridge replacement. The Governor made his statement while in Washington, D.C., where he was meeting with U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Washington Governor Jay Inslee about moving forward on the project.
"The vote in the House today is an important step forward for our state and the Pacific Northwest economy," said Governor Kitzhaber. "By investing in a safe and effective transportation system for Oregon, we are providing a safer and less congested trip for freight and commuters. It is time that we build this bridge."
In recent conversations, U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary LaHood and Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano have reaffirmed the federal governments strong support for the project. In today's meeting with federal partners and Governor Inslee, Governor Kitzhaber reported in on Oregon's progress on funding Oregon's share of the project.
Forty billion dollars worth of interstate and international commerce crosses the Interstate Bridge to nearby ports, businesses and distribution facilities, and commerce is increasingly impacted by congestion at a pinch point that is one of the worst spots anywhere between Mexico and Canada. In addition to construction jobs, the economic impacts from replacing the bridge and improving the interchanges will result in the creation of 4,200 jobs and $231 million in additional wages in 2030.