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Hwy 224 Winter maintenance 2023

Posts: 463
 Kirk
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Joined: 14 years ago

I just saw this article from Pamplin Media Group.  I wonder how this will impact 224 this coming winter.

 

ODOT says shortage of funds, road conditions could be worse this winter

  • Nov 10, 2023

 

Always check road conditions before heading out. 

Buckle up because ODOT officials are anticipating a worse winter for drivers than we’ve seen in recent years.

“This year, with costs increasing, and fuels tax revenues trending down, we are forced to scale back maintenance and services around the state,” officials said in a statement. “We won’t be able to clear roads during winter storms as quickly as in the past. There may be more snow and ice buildup, more chain requirements and longer delays and more frequent road closures.”

 

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I think it is fascinating that with all the gloom and doom we heard during the closure and after, there hasn't been, at least to my knowledge, one significant road issue in 2 winters. And there hasn't been a lack of wild weather either.

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The only thing I've seen is the normal (it happened all the time BEFORE the fires too) rocks on the road in the morning along 224.  I did get stopped before the reservoir one day - they were removed a burned tree that had fallen on the road - but I remember seeing logs occasionally on the road before the fires too.

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There was a large slide near the lower end of the Sandstone bridge which closed the road for a day or two.  The burnoff of vegetation on that slope might have been a contributing cause, but who knows?

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Yeah, I forgot about that one - I actually saw that the day after it happened - That was the fall that 4620 was open for like a month (for hunters maybe?) I was going to head up to Fish Creek Mountain and ran into that slide, so I had to opt for a plan B - you couldn't go across the bridge.

ODOT had it cleared enough to pass later that day though.

Here is what it looked like that morning:

 

20221105 104238
 
I forgot the nice attachment feature got disabled here since I didn't renew the yearly license - when I bought it I hadn't realized it was yearly - I thought it was a one time charge.  You can still attach file, you just can't insert them inline anymore.
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Posts: 463
 Kirk
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Joined: 14 years ago

It was a false alarm.  They found $19,000,000 in the budget to restore the shortage.  Reminds me of what the school district did this year.  First they announced cutbacks and then a couple of months later they had restored everything.  Seems like they don't really know how to run the government's finances. 😯 

 

ODOT receiving $19M for winter road maintenance, snowplow trucks

by: Michaela Bourgeois

Posted: Dec 4, 2023 / 03:25 PM PST

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – The Oregon Department of Transportation will receive $19 million to restore winter road maintenance services, improve street safety, and to buy new snowplow trucks amid an aging fleet, Gov. Tina Kotek announced Monday.

The joint announcement from the governor, Oregon Senate President Rob Wagner and House Speaker Dan Rayfield noted ODOT reduced its services this biennium due to shortfalls in the State Highway Fund, record levels of inflation, and limits on agency funds.

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 Kirk
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Here's the explanation from the director of ODOT as published by Pamplin Media.  I guess this is what passes for journalism these days?  You just print what the government gives you.

 

 

ODOT: Winter travel will be safer this year thanks to Gov. Kotek, legislative leaders

  • Jan 2, 2024 Updated 17 hrs ago

 

Earlier this year, we announced that due to a structural revenue issue, we planned to reduce our maintenance activities.

Recognizing the real impacts these cuts would have to Oregonians across the state, Gov. Kotek requested $19 million from the Oregon Legislature to backfill ODOT’s budget to better fund winter response and road maintenance activities for the remainder of this biennium.

Leaders from the Oregon Legislature responded with their intention and future commitment to provide ODOT with $19 million of additional funding for winter maintenance activities during the upcoming 2024 legislative session. This one-time infusion of funds will help ODOT avoid some of these planned cuts and keep our roads safer.

Our revenue problem comes down to three main causes: flattening and imminently declining gas tax revenue; high inflation; and restrictions or statutory demands on available funding.

Transportation agencies across the country are grappling with flattening and declining fuels tax revenues as cars become more efficient and drivers make the switch to electric vehicles.

Burning less gas is great news for the environment. Oregonians making the switch to more fuel-efficient, hybrid, and electric vehicles is a central reason why Oregon is on track to reduce carbon emissions from transportation by 60 percent by 2050.
 

As a result, before the one-time infusion of funding identified above, the state funding available for maintenance and agency operations for this current budget cycle went down compared to the last one, all while our costs increased.

That’s why we were in the unfortunate position to reduce the kinds of maintenance and safety services we value most.

This is a long-term, structural issue. We’re very grateful that state leadership stepped in to preserve the safety of traveling Oregonians. We’ll continue to work with those leaders to identify funding solutions that will put our transportation system on a sustainable and stable foundation.

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