Board adopts high-growth transportation funding program

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Sponsored by: Department of Land Use and Transportation

The Washington County Board of County Commissioners (BCC) on Tuesday (June 23) unanimously approved a transportation finance program for four high-growth residential areas.

The program, which was also unanimously endorsed by the Washington County Coordinating Committee, is a partnership between Washington County and the cities of Beaverton, Hillsboro, and Tigard to share funding resources for improvements to certain roadways in four major residential growth areas. They are:

  • North Bethany/Bonny Slope West (unincorporated Washington County)
  • South Hillsboro (City of Hillsboro)
  • South Cooper Mountain (City of Beaverton)
  • River Terrace (City of Tigard)

These areas are slated for development simultaneously. About 18,000 homes – and thousands of additional vehicles – are expected to result from these residential areas over the next 20 years. Many county roads will need improvements to accommodate the increased traffic and to improve safety for new and existing residents.

"The growth is going to occur, and we need to deal with it proactively," said Andy Duyck, BCC chairman. "As always, our goal with this program is to provide residents with safe, efficient roadways as cost effectively as possible."

"This is an innovative cost-sharing partnership that will allow the County and cities to make transportation improvements – without raising property taxes – before deficient roadways become problematic," said Andrew Singelakis, director of Washington County Land Use & Transportation.

The transportation finance program will fund a list of capacity and safety projects needed to serve the four areas. The program includes:

  • Cost sharing – Two-thirds of the $140 million cost will be funded by the County; the remaining one-third will be funded by the cities. This formula is based on travel forecasting that estimates that only one-third of travelers using the improved roads will result from the new developments. The remaining traffic will be "regional travel" – trips that begin and end outside of the high-growth areas.
  • Bonding – The County will issue bonds to fund two-thirds of the project costs. Incremental growth in revenue from the countywide property tax-based Major Streets Transportation Improvement Program (MSTIP) will be used to pay back the bonds.
  • Development fees – Cities may use the Transportation Development Tax (TDT) and other development-based revenues to fund one-third of the project costs.
  • Partnerships – Additional partnerships may result cost sharing. For example, the BCC on Tuesday also approved an intergovernmental agreement with Tualatin Valley Water District (TVWD) and the City of Hillsboro for water system improvements on the SW 124th Avenue Extension Project which may result in construction cost savings and reduce traffic and community impacts.
  • Preserving funds for other projects – Existing MSTIP funding will be preserved for improvements on other roadways throughout Washington County. By funding high-growth area road improvements through MSTIP-backed bonds, these high-growth projects will not compete with other transportation projects for regular MSTIP funds.

For more information visit Washington County's High-Growth Transportation Funding Program.

Washington County is committed to planning, building and maintaining a great transportation system, ensuring the safety of all roadway users, and operating the county roadway system in a cost-effective and environmentally responsible manner.

Media Contact:

Melissa De Lyser, Communications Coordinator