City and ODOT Pursue INFRA Grant Funds

ODOT and the City of Bend hope to stretch the recently announced transportation package dollars even further by applying for federal infrastructure grants. Funds recently awarded from the State of Oregon would help apply for an INFRA Grant, which could potentially bring in an additional $60 to $70 million to help improve Bend’s transportation system.

Bend’s part of the state transportation package is a $50 million cash infusion earmarked for the improvement of the Cooley Road/Highway 97 intersection. The additional money from the INFRA Grant (Infrastructure for Rebuilding America) would be applied to three additional high-priority projects along the Highway 97 corridor. Additional projects would include the US 20/Colley Road roundabout, the Empire Corridor and the US 20 corridor – Empire to Greenwood/27th and Empire (3rd to Boyd Acres). The cost for all projects are estimated at $145 million.

In an effort to secure a more favorable outcome to the grant request, Nick Arnis, Director of City of Bend’s Growth Management Department and Bob Bryant, Region 4 Manager with ODOT approached city council with a request for city participation in the INFRA Grant application and a resolution for a match totaling $5 million. Bryant stressed the grant application would have a higher chance to be approved if there was a local contribution on the line.

After a brief discussion, the councilors indicated they were positive to support the INFRA Grant application and were also willing to go all the way in on a $5 million match. Two million would come from the Transportation Partnership Strategy fund and three million would come from the Juniper Ridge Urban Renewal Fund.

The resolution for the city to support the INFRA Grant with at least $5 million is up for a vote at the next city council on October 18, 2017. The application for the federal grant is due by early November. The grant awards will be announced early next year with INFRA Grant funds obligated in September 2021.

PRESENTATION by ODOT and the Transportation Partnership Strategy

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