The Oregon Department of Transportation released its 2015 bridge survey last week.
It's a document the agency releases every few years, and its 212 pages are chock full of charts, data and sometimes alarming information.
Here's the scary stuff:
Worsening conditions will increase transportation user costs and hurt Oregonâs economy. Economic analysis has indicated that the state could forfeit 100,000 jobs and $94 billion in production by 2035 as a result of deteriorating bridges.
âOregonâs bridges are hurting. Some need repairs. Others need to be replaced. We donât have the funding to keep up. If the Legislature doesnât act, our bridges and our economy will collapse. A major transportation plan must be our top priority in the 2017 session. Our safety depends on it. Our economy depends on it. Our future depends on it. If you want to be in the Legislature; if you want to be governor; if you want to be secretary of state or treasurer; you need to be committed to passing a major transportation plan. Everyone needs to know what they are signing up for. Transportation funding will be the defining issue of the 2017 session.â
Oregonâs state highway bridge conditions have improved since 2007. A significant increase in bridge program funding from the 2003 Oregon Transportation Investment Act (OTIA III) and special federal funding in 2008and 2009 resulted in the largest spike of new bridge construction since the 1960s.The $1.3 billion OTIA III State Bridge Delivery Program, completed in 2014, addressed aging bridges on Oregonâs highway network. The program repaired 122 bridges and replaced 149 â about 10 percent of the 2,727 bridges on the state highway system.
Sen. Doug Whitsett (R-Klamath Falls) questioned Garrett on
how the figures could be off so much. âThere must have been a humongous change in assumptions,â
Garrett told Whitsett that ODOTâs ânationally recognizedâ traffic modelers had erred.
âIt was just a mistake,â Garrett said.