If you ever wondered how major state transportation programs receive their initial funding, now is your opportunity to learn about the process and share your opinion.
The Oregon Department of Transportation’s short-term capital improvement program, known as the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP), provides project funding and scheduling information for the department and the state’s metropolitan planning organizations.
“Public input helps us prioritize future transportation projects,” STIP Coordinator Mike Baker said. “We’ve seen a significant increase in the level of public interest and involvement in state transportation projects throughout the Rogue Valley.”
While the STIP is a four-year funding program, federal regulations require the program to be updated every two years. The program is developed through the coordinated efforts of ODOT, federal and local governments, Area Commissions on Transportation, tribal governments and the public.
The Rogue Valley Area Commission on Transportation recommended five modernization projects for funding in the 2008-2011 STIP for Jackson and Josephine counties. The projects are:
- Oregon 62 at Coker Butte Realignment (Medford), $5.9 million; moves Coker Butte Road and realigns Crater Lake Avenue;
- US 199 Expressway Upgrade Unit 2 (Grants Pass), $4.5 million: improves highway from Allen Creek east to Tussey;
- Grants Pass ‘South Y’ Environmental Assessment, $600,000: studies solutions to operational and safety problems;
- Interstate 5: Exit 14 bridge widening (Ashland), $1.5 million: provides signals, sidewalks and roadway lighting to overpass replacement;
- Interstate 5: Exit 19 bridge widening (Ashland), $1.5 million: provide signals, sidewalks and roadway lighting to overpass replacement.
Each modernization project would receive matching funds from local jurisdictions or from the Oregon Transportation Investment Act.
The public review period for the 2008-2011 draft STIP, which contains over $2 billion in projects and programs statewide, ends in June.
“We will be highlighting specific projects from the Rogue Valley at these public meetings,” Baker said.
The 2008-2011 draft STIP is available online at the ODOT Web site for public review at http://www.odot.state.or.us/stip/index.html. The STIP is available in both a searchable format and a downloadable format online.
Project open houses will be scheduled in May or June. If you are unable to attend the public meetings in the Rogue Valley, you can send comments directly to STIP Coordinator Mike Baker at the following addresses:
3500 NW Stewart Parkway
Roseburg, Oregon 97470