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Major Transportation Project Championed by Rep. Schrader Moves to Next Phase

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 10, 2021

Contact: 
Molly Prescott, 202-657-2676

Major Transportation Project Championed by Rep. Schrader Moves to Next Phase

WASHINGTON, D.C. –   Today, Congressman Kurt Schrader announced a top transportation priority in Oregon’s Fifth Congressional District has moved closer to becoming a reality.

After he testified before the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure on the importance of the Interstate-5 Aurora-Donald Interchange Improvement Project, the critical project was included in the surface transportation reauthorization bill as a Member Designated Project (MDP), approved for the full $20 million sought by Congressman Schrader. He has long supported this ODOT-led project’s efforts to secure the final piece of federal funding to make this a reality. The Committee’s inclusion of this project shows that Congress is the best authority on how local projects can be critical infrastructure investments instead of D.C. bureaucrats.

“The Aurora-Donald Interchange is a critical lifeline for North Marion County and Western Clackamas County. It’s also a vital exit for our agricultural community and processing plants, but the undersized stretch can no longer sustain current traffic levels without causing significant gridlock, leading to a surge in accidents, negatively impacting surrounding businesses,” Rep. Schrader said. “In the past, I fought for and delivered federal funding to bring the Woodburn Interchange Project online, and we are seeing incredible results there. The time is long past overdue for the Aurora-Donald Interchange to follow suit, so we can bring this important point of travel along the West Coast into the 21st century. State and local communities have put up almost 60 percent of funding for the project, but the Member Designated Projects funding is the last remaining piece we need to get this across the finish line. I am grateful that the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee saw the incredible value of this project so we can get these Oregon communities moving again and I will continue to fight for this project throughout the rest of these infrastructure negotiations.”

On average, 32,000 vehicles use Exit 278 Aurora-Donald or travel past the ramps entering and exiting I-5 per day; however, this important interchange was built 60 years ago and has become inefficient, unsafe and regularly contributes to significant congestion and dangerous backups along I-5. In fact, the accident rate for this stretch, with its high freight traffic, is twice the average number for other rural Oregon interchanges.

Funding for the project was announced by the Chair of the Committee, Congressman Peter DeFazio (OR-04). He released an amendment in the nature of a substitute (ANS) to the INVEST in America Act, a five-year, $547 billion surface transportation reauthorization bill which includes selected MDP throughout the country.

A full list of Committee-approved projects can be found here.

The I-5 Aurora-Donald Interchange Improvement Project is supported by the State of Oregon, Oregon Department of Transportation, Marion County, Clackamas County, the communities of Aurora, Donald, Canby and more.

 

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