Merkley, Wyden, DeFazio, Schrader, Walden Announce Major Grants to Repair Infrastructure in Oregon Counties

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley, who serves on the Senate Appropriations Committee, and Ron Wyden, along with Congressmen Kurt Schrader (OR-5), Greg Walden (OR-2) and Peter DeFazio (OR-4), who is ranking member on the House Transportation and Infrastructure committee, today announced nearly $5 million in grant funding to repair federally owned roads in counties across Oregon.

“I joined the Appropriations Committee in 2013 so that Oregon would have a strong voice in decisions about the investments our nation should be making, including helping Oregon recover after severe weather,” Merkley said. “These roads are important public infrastructure, and they’ve been in disrepair for far too long. Investing in recovery from severe weather helps everyone get back to work, to school, to normal life sooner. Infrastructure investments should be a top national priority.”

“Oregonians know full well how heavy rain and snow damage roads they travel on for jobs, education and daily life,” Wyden said. “These federal resources will help provide needed repairs to those roads, again highlighting the importance of regular and sustainable infrastructure investment in our state and nationwide.”

“As the top Democrat on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, I’m pleased I was able to help secure these much-needed funds for Oregon’s roads,” DeFazio said.  “Repairs to this critical infrastructure will not only improve Oregonians’ day-to-day lives, it will make our communities safer and better prepared to handle severe weather in the future.” 

“Our communities across Oregon have endured particularly destructive winter weather seasons in recent years,” Schrader said. “This weather has wreaked havoc on our roads and infrastructure. For some of our rural, and most of our coastal communities, a flooded road can mean being cut off for days or even weeks. Overcoming the economic impact from that can take exponentially longer. These grants are huge for our communities as we continue to recover and rebuild after enduring such damaging storms.”

Through the Emergency Relief for Federally Owned Roads program, the U.S. Department of Transportation awards grants to repair federal lands management agencies’ transportation facilities after disasters, helping to cover unusually burdensome expenses to agencies that manage road systems in communities.

The Bureau of Land Management was granted $642,875 to repair roads in Eastern Oregon and the Willamette Valley. The Forest Service was awarded nearly $4.4 million to repair roads in the Willamette Valley, Eastern Oregon, and on the Oregon Coast. Damage being repaired dates back to heavy rain in January 2015, flooding in December 2015, and severe winter storms in December 2017.