© 2024 KLCC

136 W 8th Ave
Eugene OR 97401

Contact Us

FCC Applications
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

LCOG awarded $5.3 million to look into Lane County's transportation vulnerabilities

Oncoming train.
Brian Bull
A Union Pacific freight train rolls through the Jefferson Street crossing and towards the Pearl Street intersection on Sept. 25, 2023. Thompson said the plan includes looking at vulnerabilities to passenger and freight rail lines.

The Lane Council of Governments has been awarded a significant federal grant to assess vulnerabilities in Lane County’s transportation network.

The U.S. Department of Transportation announced LCOG will get more than $5.3 million of Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill funds to assess the resiliency of roads, rail lines and other systems.

“We know that our transportation system is at risk from everything on the coastal side, tsunamis and flooding, to wildfires, to Cascadia subduction zone events, and other things like that,” said Paul Thompson, a Transportation Manager at LCOG.

Thompson said the grant will fund a thorough evaluation and detailed plans for dealing with transportation hazards, including identifying emergency routes. He said Lane County is a partner in the project.

Throughout the three-to-four-year grant, Thompson said there will be opportunities for the public to weigh in. LCOG will consult with tribes, and will attempt to give underserved populations the appropriate focus.

Thompson said if there’s something like a Cascadia earthquake, experts say transportation is the first priority. Without a functioning system, people can’t get to hospitals, utility workers can’t get to where they need to be to restore power, and there’s no way to get food and water to people who may be cut off from them.

Karen Richards joined KLCC as a volunteer reporter in 2012, and became a freelance reporter at the station in 2015. In addition to news reporting, she’s contributed to several feature series for the station, earning multiple awards for her reporting.