Contractors push for roads

Contractors are fighting a decision to spend stimulus money on trains instead of roads.

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Per a decision by the Oregon Transportation Commission, the majority of funds leftover from transportation stimulus money will be used for train purchases instead of road projects – and contractors aren’t happy.

The commission approved the purchase of two trains, for $35 million, to run on the Amtrak Cascades line between Portland and Eugene. That made up the bulk of the nearly $43 million left over from what the state planned to spend on transportation stimulus projects.

Because the savings came from contractors bidding below estimates on road projects, the money should be spent on more such projects, said Melinda Dailey, executive director of the National Utility Contractors Association of Oregon and Southwest Washington. Dailey and the heads of the Asphalt Pavement Association of Oregon and the local chapters of the Associated General Contractors and Associated Builders and Contractors signed the letter.

Read the full story at the Daily Journal of Commerce.

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