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Leaders tout what’s in federal infrastructure bill for Oregon

Rachael McDonald
Oregon U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio (right) and Oregon U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (left) spoke about the infrastructure bill at a press conference Friday at the Eugene Federal Building.

The federal infrastructure bill includes millions of dollars for Oregon’s roads, bridges, water, and more. At a press conference Friday federal and local leaders spoke of how the bill delivers for Oregon.

“Now, this is the largest single investment in infrastructure in the history of the united states of America,” Democratic Representative Peter DeFazio announced to applauding supporters.

DeFazio, who chairs the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said the bill is missing many of the climate provisions he wants, but he’s proud of the investments in ports, airports, rail, and roads.

“For Oregon, 3.4 billion for highways, 268 million for bridges,” DeFazio said. “That’s about $65 million more a year because of provisions I got in a bill again, takes a long time, 15 years ago.”

Oregon will also get 747 million in public transportation funding, and 529 million for water infrastructure. And there’s money for EV charging stations, broadband, and wildfire protection.

Lane County Commissioner Heather Buch said she expects funds for things like rural broadband will help improve the lives of rural residents.

“Rural Lane County residents have struggled with connectivity and we should see that investments made will ensure phone and internet services are more equal to what urban residents enjoy while also improving the security of these systems overall,” she said

Buch also praised funding in the bill for water, roads, and natural disaster preparedness. Buch’s district includes Blue River, in the McKenzie River Valley, which was destroyed by last year’s Holiday Farm Fire.

President Biden will sign the infrastructure bill on Monday.

Copyright 2021 KLCC.

Rachael McDonald is KLCC’s former News Director. Rachael has a BA in English from the University of Oregon. She started out in public radio as a newsroom volunteer at KLCC in 2000. After reporting for the Northwest News Network and KAZU, Rachael returned to KLCC in 2007 as Morning Edition host and a general assignment reporter covering politics, the environment, education, and the arts. She was hired as KLCC News Director in 2018. Rachael departed KLCC in June, 2022.