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Governor Kate Brown signs critical state transportation bill at PCC’s Southeast Campus

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While it wasn’t the capitol steps, the front steps of the Southeast Campus’ Administration Building hit the mark.

On Aug. 29, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown ceremonially signed House Bill 2017 – a $5.3 billion transportation funding legislation that will start a 10-year investment in roads, rail, bridges, and ports. The Governor chose Portland Community College’s Southeast Campus for the signing, to represent the geographic center of Portland and a location that will be affected by future work to build mass transit along 82nd Avenue.

“Thank you to Portland Community College for your support and enabling us to be here today,” Gov. Brown said. “I’m so pleased to sign this transportation bill that will enable us to provide additional opportunities for Oregonians across the state and enhance opportunities for every single corner of Oregon. This has been a team effort. Not only will this package improve the safety and condition of our roads and bridges, it will support thousands of family wage jobs and help local business get their goods to market more efficiently.”

Gov. Kate Brown (far right) with, left to right, Board Director Michael Sonnleitner, Southeast President Jessica Howard and PCC President Mark Mitsui.

Gov. Kate Brown (far right) with, left to right, Board Director Michael Sonnleitner, Southeast President Jessica Howard and PCC President Mark Mitsui.

More than 100 people attended the ceremony, including PCC President Mark Mitsui, Southeast Campus President Jessica Howard and Board Director Michael Sonnleitner, whose zone represents Southeast Portland.

Gov. Brown said congestion in the Portland-metro area impacts traffic throughout the entire state, and is only getting worse. The bill includes investments in highway improvement projects in the metro region, as well as expanded transit service in Southeast Portland and beyond. Half of all road funding will go directly to cities and counties to complete local communities’ top road maintenance and safety improvements. It will also create additional sidewalks, bike lanes and crossings near schools, to help students get to school safely.

In total, the bill contains 43 projects across the state. Gov. Brown said this is the state’s largest and most comprehensive transportation package, creating 16,000 construction jobs.

“For the first time, Oregon will have a dedicated source of funding for transit, which can be a vehicle out of poverty for many working families,” she continued. “I appreciate the determination of Legislators and the business community to work toward this shared vision of improving the economy of Oregon, while affirming our commitment to innovate, tackle climate change, and build a more resilient state for future generations.”

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About James Hill

James G. Hill, an award-winning journalist and public relations writer, is the Director of Public Relations at Portland Community College. A graduate of Portland State University, James has worked as a section editor for the Newberg Graphic... more »