ODOT Releases Draft Finance Plan for Urban Mobility Strategy Projects

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Brought to you by the Oregon Department of Transportation's
Urban Mobility Office

Delay in collecting toll revenue causes changes to major ODOT projects in Portland area

Agency seeks to manage risks and spend more conservatively


For immediate release: June 26, 2023 

For more information, contact Anna Howe at 503-877-7101 or anna.howe@ODOT.oregon.gov 

PORTLAND, Ore. —  When Gov. Tina Kotek directed us to delay toll collection until 2026, she also directed the agency to provide an updated finance plan to inform next steps for the projects those tolls are meant to fund. Those projects include the I-205 Improvements Project, I-5 Rose Quarter Improvement Project, I-5 Boone Bridge and Seismic Improvement Project, and the Oregon Toll Program project.

This finance plan, available on our website, shows there is a real impact to the projects from their increased scope and costs paired now with a delay and less reliability in available toll proceeds. To account for that impact, we will need to manage our risks and be more conservative in our spending. We are suggesting a phased approach in which we finish projects where we can and get other projects to a sufficient level of readiness so they can move forward in the future when additional funding is available. 

This finance plan remains in a draft form. We will present this plan to the Oregon Transportation Commission for guidance and review at a special meeting this Wednesday at 9 a.m. After this meeting, we will submit the plan to Governor Kotek by July 1.   

We refer to the projects identified above as our Urban Mobility Strategy. This strategy aims to provide solutions for congestion, improve safety, reduce greenhouse gases and address aging infrastructure in the Portland metro region. Congestion around Portland remains a critical issue for local residents and our statewide economy. The projects of the Urban Mobility Strategy focus on removing bottlenecks on the interstate system, upgrading our roads and bridges to make them earthquake-ready, and using congestion pricing to pay for these upgrades and manage congestion.  

We originally developed many of these projects in response to House Bill 2017, passed by the Oregon Legislature in 2017. Since then, several key factors have changed and project costs have risen as a result. These developments include:  

  • The scope of projects has grown in response to the needs and goals of our communities.  
  • High inflation across the nation in highway construction has driven up project costs significantly. See the Federal Highway Administration National Highway Construction Cost Index
  • Delays due to design refinements, environmental review, and lack of construction funding have further increased the cost of the projects.  

Tolling was always a central component of paying for these projects. The growing scope of these projects made it already difficult to finance with the revenue we currently have and could expect to have in the future. With tolling revenue now delayed, we face the need to manage our spending more conservatively. 

One solution we are proposing is to indefinitely postpone the second phase of construction for the I-205 Improvements Project, which includes adding a missing third lane and seismic upgrades to a total of eight bridges. Construction on the Abernethy Bridge would continue, scheduled for completion in 2025 and tolls will begin in 2026 to repay the costs of the bridge.  

For the I-5 Rose Quarter Improvement Project, we are presenting a question to the OTC: How best to proceed with the Rose Quarter Improvement Project to make it competitive for future funding opportunities and eventual construction? 

The Interstate Bridge Replacement Program is a separate project with a distinct finance plan and funding sources, including federal discretionary grants, tolls on the Interstate Bridge, and contributions from Oregon and Washington. The bridge does not rely on funding from HB 2017, I-205 tolls, or the Regional Mobility Pricing Project, so it will not be impacted by the changes in toll collection laid out in this finance plan.    

Once we submit a final plan to Governor Kotek, we will make the necessary changes and adjustments to our projects. 

How to watch or listen to the meeting - Wednesday, June 28 at 9 a.m. 

To submit public comment: 

  • Complete the comment form on our website.  
  • Submit written testimony or comments electronically through a submission form on the OTC website by 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 27th to guarantee inclusion in the meeting packet. Comments not included in the meeting packet will be shared with Commissioners after the meeting. 
  • Email written comments to OTCAdmin@odot.oregon.gov.
  • Mail comments to Oregon Transportation Commission, ATTN: Commission Assistant, 355 Capitol Street NE, MS11, Salem OR 97301.



The Oregon Department of Transportation’s Urban Mobility Strategy is a cohesive approach to make everyday travel safer and more efficient in the Portland metropolitan region.

Urban Mobility Office

Matthew L. Garrett Building

123 NW Flanders St., Portland, OR 97209