Thursday, January 13, 2011

Portland Port Approves $4.4 Billion Wish List of Capital Projects

The governing board for the Port of Portland on Wednesday approved a $4.4 billion list of 99 infrastructure and environmental projects that port officials believe are necessary to address current and future port development and facility access.

The Port Transportation Improvement Plan, or PTIP, is dominated by the $3 billion Columbia River Crossing project, but also contains another 98 projects with a cumulative price tag of $1.4 billion that cover road, rail, transit, marine, environmental, aviation and waterway improvements in the port region.

The PTIP list, which is updated each year as projects move up or down in priority or are completed or abandoned, must now be submitted under state law to the Metro and the Oregon Department of Transportation.

According to the port, "Some of the projects in the PTIP are primarily the port’s responsibility; others are critical for port customers’ market access on systems owned and operated by others." Port officials also pointed out that the projects on systems owned and operated by other governments or private rail carriers are "primarily the responsibility of those entities but, due to competing priorities and capital constraints, they require some amount of port focus and/or financial participation to create the impetus for the responsible entity to pursue the project."

Port staff have identified 58 projects on the PTIP list that may require some port resources, outside grant funding, and/or commitments from the various responsible agencies to move the projects forward. According to the port, "These projects represent the most pressing bottlenecks and capital needs for port customers."

The Oregonian reports that the port's highest priorities are, "improvement to the Interstate 205 northbound on-ramp, construction of additional through lane and left-turn lane at Northeast 82nd Avenue and Columbia Boulevard, and improvements to the Troutdale interchange on Interstate 84."