OACES Newsletter for May 2, 2024


Upcoming OACES Meetings:

View the 2024 OACES Meeting Schedule

AOC County Road Program Launches County Road Needs Study

The Oregon State Legislature is expected to consider a major transportation funding package during the 2025 regular legislative session. The Association of Oregon County (AOC) County Road Program has prepared a detailed survey, organized in an excel workbook, to determine county road needs for the 2025 package. Data from this County Road Needs Study will be compiled to accurately and comprehensively demonstrate the funding needed to maintain and manage the county road system to meet the needs of the traveling public over the next five years (2026-2030). 

The last time the County Road Needs Study was conducted in 2014, Oregon counties learned that they would need to more than double their funding to meet the needs of our integrated transportation system. This year, the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) estimates that they would need to more than quadruple their maintenance and system improvements funding to meet their needs. 

We kindly request that all counties complete the 2024 County Road Needs Workbook and return it to Jordan Cole at jcole@oregoncounties.org by Monday May 13, for inclusion in the 2024 County Road Needs Study.

Please reach out with questions to Jordan Cole, AOC County Road Program policy analyst.

State Transportation Package Legislative Listening Tour Kicks Off

The Joint Committee on Transportation (JCT) released final dates for a 2024 listening tour in preparation for the consideration of a new transportation funding package during the 2025 legislative session. Listening tour stops are expected to include roundtable discussions with local leaders, a site tour, and a public hearing.

The Association of Oregon Counties (AOC) encourages our members to save the date for their area meeting and be prepared to participate on behalf of their county’s local road, bridge, and transportation needs and priorities.

County road project tour suggestions: If your county has a project or particular facility (ideally in the vicinity of a tour stop) that would convey county road needs to the legislature, please click here to fill out a short survey and help AOC compile a list of tour options.

As the listening tour dates approach, the AOC County Road Program and the Oregon Association of County Engineers and Surveyors (OACES) will provide additional suggested talking points, statewide county road needs data, and individual county road priorities one-pagers, to help your county communicate its needs effectively with the legislature. ...[Read More]

2024 Legislative Session Summary

The 2024 legislative “short” session has been heralded as one of the most productive and least contentious in recent memory. Legislative leadership from both parties communicated a desire to focus the 35-day meeting of the legislative assembly on accomplishing shared priorities around housing production and mitigating the drug crisis.

Among the 115 bills passed this session were a major housing policy package, County Right-of-Way permit fee authority, recreational immunity protections, duty to defend damage claims, and general fund allocations to address the ODOT operations and maintenance deficit – a total of $49.5 million, including $19 million for snow plowing and striping and $20 million for right-of-way cleanup and graffiti removal. The Joint Committee on Transportation focused on ODOT’s deficit, 2025 revenue, local tolling, and the Highway Cost Allocation Study. 

AOC staff built on and expanded relationships with key legislators, teed up conversations and opportunities for the 2025 Legislative Session, and took advantage of opportunities to highlight the importance of the county road system, critical county emergency response, and the role counties play as a direct service provider for many programs that support Oregonians. ...[Read More]

OACES Represents Oregon County Roads at NACE in Palm Springs

A total of six OACES members and two AOC staff attended the 2024 National Association of County Engineers (NACE) Conference and Annual Meeting in Palm Springs, Calif., April 15 through 19!

Oregon members gained valuable technical information on federal legislation and trending bridge and road engineering topics, and took advantage of networking opportunities with fellow county engineers, vendors, and experts nationwide.

Washington County Engineer Aaron Clodfelter, a first time NACE attendee, joined a panel presentation highlighting county program successes in gravel and rock road construction techniques. On the final day of the conference, OACES members were able to take an engineering learning and leadership trip on the Palm Springs Arial Tramway—the world’s largest rotating tram car that travels over two-and-one-half miles to an elevation of 8,516 feet along Chino Canyon to to the Mt. San Jacinto State Park.

Join the Oregon delegation at next year's NACE Conference, April 14-17, 2025, in Schaumburg (Chicago), Ill. As a reminder, if you or your county need financial support to attend NACE or other training events, you are encouraged to apply or nominate fellow OACES members for the Education & Leadership Scholarship Program.

IRIS 10 Update: Group Two Onboarding to Begin Early Summer

With summer on the horizon, the IRIS team is excited to let you know the IRIS 10 rollout is well underway with five counties using the new system, and two more scheduled to come on soon.

Last fall, we surveyed and selected seven counties to be our first adopters for IRIS 10, with the counties being selected primarily based on the IRIS modules being used and number of active IRIS users. Of those seven Group One counties, Gilliam and Harney counties have made the permanent transition to IRIS 10, while Baker, Grant, and Hood River counties are in various states of their testing phases. The final two counties, Jackson and Lake, are set to begin testing next month, which will conclude the migration from IRIS 9 to IRIS 10 for our Group One counties. To learn more about the Group One rollout, please check out our most recent edition of The IRIS Update newsletter.

Group Two Surveys Coming Soon

With the completion of Group One drawing near, we will soon begin surveying potential Group Two candidates. For Group Two, we hope to bring another eight additional counties onto IRIS 10 over the summer and early fall. To help us prepare, we have identified several counties that we believe would fit well into Group Two, and we will begin surveying these counties in early May to lock in our order and timeline. Not all counties will receive a survey for Group Two, but if your county does, please complete the survey as thoroughly and timely as possible. If you are interested in your county joining Group Two or have questions about the onboarding process, please emairyde@oregoncounties.org.

As always, if you ever have questions or need assistance with IRIS, we are here to help at support@aociris.org.

New Jurisdictional Transfer Advisory Committee Accepting Pre-Applications

A jurisdictional transfer occurs when the ownership of a segment of roadway is transferred from one jurisdiction to another, such as from ODOT's ownership to a local government.


In 2023, the State Legislature established the Jurisdictional Transfer Advisory Committee to provide transfer and funding recommendations to the Legislature. The committee can recommend three transfers for funding to the Joint Committee on Transportation each biennium. These recommendations will include funding requests to support the transfers and potential improvements. Though funding is not guaranteed, the committee is taking steps to ensure that transfers are a possibility in communities of all sizes across all regions of the state. 


Are you interested in a jurisdictional transfer? The first step is to reach out to your local ODOT District and Region. Together, ODOT and local governments can apply to the committee for transfer and funding consideration.

For questions or to learn more about the committee, please visit the Jurisdictional Transfer Advisory Committee webpage.

USDOT Funding Opportunities

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) regularly publishes Notice for Funding Opportunities (NOFO) as part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL). Current open funding grants include:

Technical assistance resources:

Please contact AOC County Road Program Director Brian Worley with any questions about USDOT grant funding opportunities.

USDOT Announces $830 Million in PROTECT Resiliency Grant Program Funds, Includes Two Oregon Projects

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) recently announced nearly $830 million in grants to make transportation infrastructure more resilient to climate change through its Promoting Resilient Operations for Transformative, Efficient, and Cost-saving Transportation (PROTECT) Discretionary Grant Program.

USDOT selected 80 projects in 37 states (including two in Oregon), the District of Columbia, and the Virgin Islands that will help states and local communities save taxpayer money, while strengthening surface transportation systems and making them more resilient to extreme weather events worsened by the climate crisis, flooding, sea-level rise, heat waves, and other disasters.

These grants are the first of their kind dedicated to transportation infrastructure resilience and were made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The full list of grant recipients and descriptions of their projects can be found here.

For questions or more information regarding the PROTECT Discretionary Grant Program or grant award recipients, please email PROTECTdiscretionary@dot.gov.

USDOT Awards $23.6 Million Through Thriving Communities Program to Support 112 Communities

Earlier this month, USDOT announced $23.6 million in cooperative agreements with three National Capacity Builders and six Regional Capacity Builders through the second round of funding for the Thriving Communities Program.

The program provides two years of no-cost, intensive technical assistance to under-resourced and disadvantaged communities to help them identify, develop, and deliver transportation projects to achieve both locally-driven economic development, as well as health, environment, mobility, and access goals. A total of 112 communities will receive support through the second round of the program, bringing the total number of communities supported to 176 across the two program years.

Click here to learn more about the selected communities and Capacity Builders for FY 2023.

FHWA, ODOT Offer Tips for Applying for Discretionary Grants Under BIL

In order to ensure the successful delivery of projects, particularly in relation to the environmental review process during project development, FHWA and ODOT are partnering to share information with local agencies about steps to take before your agency applies for and is awarded a discretionary grant under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL).

Are you are thinking about applying for a discretionary grant through the USDOT? If so:

Congratulations, your agency received a discretionary grant! Now what?

  • If your agency chooses to become a direct recipient, FHWA (not ODOT) will provide project oversight. This means ODOT will not be required to assist with the project delivery process. However, depending on staff capacity, ODOT may be able to provide limited assistance as described above.
  • If you notified the ODOT Area Manager prior to applying for the funds, let them know you application was successful.
  • Coordinate with FHWA early and often to ensure there is a plan to deliver the environmental review process for the project. FHWA is coordinating the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) compliance requirements and sharing tools to prepare projects for the NEPA phase to support efficient environmental review and facilitate compliance with statutory requirements.

For questions or additional information, please contact FHWA Planning Program Manager Ashley Bryers.


Save the Date: Land Surveying Workshop to be Held May 9

The Oregon Tech Alumni Association and the Geomatics Program are proud to announce their upcoming Land Surveying Workshop, which is scheduled to be held in Wilsonville, May 9. This will be the first Land Surveying Workshop since 2020.

The focus of the workshop will be on the execution of resurveys within the rectangular survey system. Presentations will be given by Bob Dahl, BLM Cadastral Surveyor (Ret.), PLS; and Brian Portwood, Bonneville Power Administration Land Surveyor, PLS.

  • When: Thursday, May 9, 7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
  • Where: Oregon Tech Wilsonville, 27500 SW Parkway Ave.
  • Cost: $150 per person

Additional fee for CFedS CE: $70

For more information on or questions about the Land Surveying Workshop, please contact Robert Femling or Jacen Bridges.

ODOT to Work with Local Governments to Set Emission Reduction Targets

As part of Oregon’s Climate-Friendly and Equitable Communities program, local governments in Oregon’s metropolitan areas that do not have an approved land use and transportation scenario plan are required to track progress on their actions to meet the state’s targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from transportation.

Local governments will set targets for performance measures related to:

  • Compact mixed-use development
  • Active transportation
  • Transportation options
  • Parking costs and management
  • Transportation system

To help support this effort, ODOT is working with a consultant team led by Parametrix. The team will work with local governments to develop a methodology, establish baseline information, and set targets for performance measures. More details and proposed timing for each metro area can be found in the CFEC Greenhouse Gas Performance Targets Overview.

Oregon is on track to reduce emissions from transportation by about 60 percent by 2050. Learn how on the Oregon transportation emissions website.

Upcoming Webinar: Advancing Implementation of the Safe System Approach

With the adoption of the Safe System Approach (SSA) by the USDOT, there is also a need to measure Safe System alignment in projects, policies, and planning documents. Additionally, there is also a need to select countermeasures and strategies that align with Safe System principles.

To this end, FHWA developed three resources for measuring SSA alignment:

  1. Safe System Project-Based Alignment Framework
  2. Safe System Policy-Based Alignment Framework
  3. Safe System Roadway Design Hierarchy

During their upcoming two-hour webinar, FHWA staff will provide an overview of these new resources, when and how to use them, and share the outcomes of three agencies who implemented these tools on their projects and policy documentation as part of the pilot process.

  • Webinar: Advancing Implementation of the Safe System Approach
  • Date: May 8, 2024
  • Time: 9 to 11 a.m. (PST)
  • Cost: Free
  • Registration: Click here to register

Oregon Technology Transfer Center: Upcoming Trainings

New Roads Scholar classes and other trainings are now available at T2!

The mission of the Oregon Technology Transfer Center (T2) is to foster a safe and efficient transportation system throughout Oregon by offering training, technical assistance, and technology transfer to local transportation agencies.

For more information on T2 programming, Roads Scholar classes, training calendars, publications, and lending library videos, please visit the Oregon T2 Center website.

Registration Now Open for the 2024 Oregon Active Transportation Summit

The Street Trust's 2024 Oregon Active Transportation Summit will be held Wednesday, June 5 through Friday June 7 at the Leftbank Annex in Portland. The theme for this year's summit is Move Oregon Forward!

Registration is now open. This year's summit includes a myriad of presentations, workshops, and field trips to bring attendees together to problem-solve and build community. Participants should expect a full schedule of fun and interesting activities.

For more information, please visit the Oregon Active Transportation Summit page.

County Engineering, Road Department, and Surveyor Jobs

The AOC job posting page provides counties and other government organizations with a platform to advertise job opportunities while also providing a resource for job seekers looking for a new challenge.

Current engineering, road department, and surveyor postings include:

Find out more specifics for each position and how to apply on the AOC jobs postings page. If you have an open job listing to post for your county, please contact jobs@oregoncounties.org.

In The News

Newsletters of Interest:

County Road Program Director

Legislative Director

Transportation Policy Analyst

Malea Stockton

Member Services and Education Coordinator

Robert Yde

IT Trainer and Communications Coordinator

IRIS Support