Schrader Applauds Critical $3.3 Million Grant for Woodburn Interchange Project
Congressman Kurt Schrader today voiced his pleasure in announcing a $3.34 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to fund the improvement and modernization of the Woodburn Interchange in Marion County. The Oregon Department of Transportation's (ODOT) plan to replace the interchange will improve traffic flows, increase freight mobility and boost the regional economy in the heart of Oregon's Fifth Congressional District.
"Securing this funding for the reconstruction of the Woodburn Interchange is an enormous economic investment for the Willamette Valley," said Schrader. "It will reduce traffic congestion for commuters saving them time and money, allow our businesses to more efficiently transport goods and enhance commerce and provide long term job and growth opportunities for the surrounding communities. Our hard work has finally paid off and I could not be happier that we were able to bring home this funding for Oregon."
The grant provides the final piece of funding needed to complete all currently proposed interchange improvement activities. It eliminates the need to rescope or delay project activities and enables the project to proceed according to the proposed construction schedule which calls for the interchange reconstruction to begin early in 2013 with all interchange improvements completed by 2015.
Woodburn's Interchange was originally designed in the 1960s and has had no significant improvements made since 1975, when Interstate-5 was widened from four to six lanes. Since then, the region has become an economic hub for freight and commercial traffic while experiencing significant population growth and the development of tourist sites and events.
However, the rapid growth of this area, and lack of structural updates, has considerably increased the volume of traffic on Interstate-5 and Oregon Highways 214 and 219 and impeded commerce and local economic development initiatives. A complete redesign will reduce traffic congestion, provide better access for public transit and encourage business development in the surrounding industrial zoned areas creating lasting employment opportunities in Marion County.
Congressman Schrader reiterated that the entire process has been a team effort and would like to applaud Oregon's U.S. Senators Wyden and Merkley for their leadership; Mayor Figley and the City Council of Woodburn for their unrelenting pursuit of this project; Senator Peter Courtney and Representative Betty Komp for their efforts in securing a large state investment in the project; the Marion County Commissioners for their vigorous support and advocacy; ODOT and the Oregon Transportation Commission for working hard to close the funding gap; and finally the citizens of Woodburn who participated in countless public meetings, advisory panels, and other committees to make sure this project works for their community.