Will Oregon’s DOT change how they do business?

Oregon Governor Kate Brown and the state legislature are working to change how the Department of Transportation is run. There is an effort to improve transparency, accountability, and investments within the department. The DOT has earned respect for the ConnectOregon grant program but has been criticized for the Columbia River Crossing project because of huge cost overruns and miscalculation of carbon emission rates. An independent audit of the DOT has been ordered by the legislature and the governor. Also, a bill has been introduced that establishes a scoring system for transportation projects being considered for the state’s Transportation Improvement Program.

Key Takeaways:

  • Governor Kate Brown and the Oregon legislature have been working for well over a year to restart efforts to raise new state revenues for transportation after a failed attempt in 2015.
  • These efforts to raise new funding have put a spotlight on the Oregon Department of Transportation
  • Just this last week, the Oregon Transportation Commission (OTC), a body of five volunteers appointed by the governor to oversee ODOT, has jumped into the fray.

“Early last year members of the legislature demanded, and the governor commissioned, an audit of ODOT to review the agency’s management structure and oversight.”