(June 3, 2021) Today, the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) and the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) announced a plan to fund long-awaited and much-needed safety and maintenance improvements to State Highway OR-213, also known as 82nd Avenue. The transportation agencies made the details of the plan public in a letter to the Co-chairs of the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Ways and Means and urged the legislature to endorse and fund the plan. Full text of the letter can be found here.
Citing the critical role that 82nd Avenue plays in the city and the larger region’s transportation system, PBOT and ODOT agreed that the state highway, which traverses one of the state’s most diverse areas, needs significant safety and maintenance investments. In addition, they agreed that the total cost to transfer 82nd Avenue from the state to the city is $185 million, a sum that includes bringing signals, lighting, ADA ramps, pavement and stormwater to states of good repair while also addressing the most urgent sidewalk and pedestrian crossing upgrades.
“82nd Avenue is the geographic and cultural center of Portland, with a diverse array of businesses, restaurants, and residents,” said Transportation Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty. “The pedestrian deaths that have occurred recently are unacceptable but preventable with proper investment in safety infrastructure improvements. Portland is ready to take ownership of 82nd but will need adequate state funding to get it into a state of good repair. I’m appreciative of ODOT and the Portland Metro area legislators that have agreed these deaths are unacceptable, and am hopeful we can get the state funding needed to bring change to one of the most important streets in our City.”
“I want to thank Speaker Kotek and Representative Pham for their leadership in bringing us to the table and supporting this transformational agreement with ODOT,” said PBOT Director, Chris Warner. “East Portlanders have been advocating for these changes for decades, and we have a real chance to deliver for them.”
“These investments will modernize our aging transportation system, deliver critical safety improvements, and most importantly set the stage to fully realize the community’s vision of this corridor,” said ODOT Director, Kris Strickler. “The partnership that makes this possible is unparalleled and we look forward to continuing this work together.”
In the plan, an $80 million commitment from the legislature dedicated to fixing the most pressing safety and maintenance needs would be followed by a $70 million investment from ODOT and $35 million commitment from PBOT. When the state funding is in place, PBOT and ODOT have pledged to execute an agreement to transfer the roadway by January 2022.