Port supports Oregon House Bill 2288

News and Information from 

Oregon International Port of Coos Bay

HB 2288 - ConnectOregon

House Bill 2288 was introduced this 2017 Oregon Legislative Session to authorize the issuance of lottery bonds to support the ConnectOregon Program.  Port Staff are tracking this bill and advocating for continued allocation of funds this session.  On February 15, CEO John Burns was invited to participate in an intermodal transportation subcommittee meeting in Salem.  One of the topics of discussion was the ConnectOregon program, and its impact on Oregon’s transportation system.  This coming weekend, Patrick Kerr will also be presenting at a legislative hearing regarding the ConnectOregon program, it’s value, and the impact that it has had on the south coast.  ConnectOregon had a major role in reviving the line following the 2007 embargo as one of the contributing funding partners supporting the Port’s 2011 acquisition of the rail line.  ConnectOregon funds have also been utilized for bridge/trestle and culvert work, and will be utilized in our upcoming Tunnel Rehab project. 

The Importance of the ConnectOregon Program for Oregon Infrastructure

The Port of Coos Bay has been fortunate to receive three awards benefitting our rail line through the ConnectOregon program:

CO I: The Coos Bay Railroad Bridge Long-Term Rehabilitation Phase II project – The OIPCB was awarded $4 million as a match to federal funds for phase II rehabilitation of the Coos Bay railroad bridge.  However, following the 2007 service embargo, the Oregon Transportation Commission approved use of the ConnectOregon I funds for acquisition of the Coos Bay rail line.

CO III: Bridge/Trestle and Culvert Rehabilitation – The Coos Bay rail line was awarded $7.8 million to complete rehabilitation work to bridges/trestles and culverts along the line.

CO V: Tunnel Structural Rehabilitation – The OIPCB received $2 million in funding through ConnectOregon as part of a $19.5 million funding package to complete renovation and improvements to all nine of our tunnels along the Coos Bay rail line.

Current ConnectOregon Project: Tunnel Rehab

The Tunnel Rehab project will complete renovation and improvements on all nine of our tunnels along the Coos Bay rail line.  The line traverses 9 tunnels over an 82-mile section between Coos Bay and Eugene.  All of the tunnels are now 100 years old, or older.  Some of the tunnels still have the original timber tunnel support structures.  The project will not only include structural repairs, but also address some significant drainage issues that are present in several of our key tunnels.  The tunnels and the rest of the rail line had substantial deferred maintenance prior to the Port of Coos Bay assuming ownership.  This project is a significant step in preserving and maintaining the line, which ensures that Coos Bay Rail Link can continue to operate safely and effectively.

Funding from the ConnectOregon is a crucial component of the funding package for this project, and a valuable tool in the Port’s ongoing efforts to promote sustainable development. This project is slated to begin in the third quarter of 2017 and will likely take approximately two years to complete.

 

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For additional information, please contact:

Margaret Barber, External Affairs Manager, Port of Coos Bay
Phone: 541.267.7678 / E-mail: mbarber@portofcoosbay.com