Newberg, Dundee residents lobbying for more funds to complete ne - KPTV - FOX 12

Newberg, Dundee residents lobbying for more funds to complete new bypass

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While lawmakers in Salem wrestle with the state's projected budget deficit, cities and counties around Oregon are waiting anxiously to hear how much funding for transportation will be made available.

In Dundee and Newberg, for instance, residents and city leaders are lobbying for additional funds to complete the Newberg-Dundee bypass, a new highway designed to ease congestion in the area.

The two cities sit on a direct route from Portland to the Oregon coast.

"Most Fridays and Sundays, the town of Dundee is a total disaster," said David Adelsheim, who owns Adelsheim Vineyards.

The Oregon Department of Transportation is nearly finished with work on Phase I of the bypass, which is a four mile stretch of new highway that will route traffic around Newberg and Dundee, but there is currently no funding for the other seven miles of the project.

"It's hard leaving a project that's half done, that will only temporarily solve the problems," said Ted Crawford, a Dundee city councilor.

Lawmakers, though, face a projected $1.35 billion budget shortfall, if the state keeps services at current levels.

The economic situation leaves lawmakers making difficult choices, with social services and education competing for funding with transportation projects like the bypass.

"I'm optimistic that the Dundee Bypass will end up somewhere in the transportation package," said Ron Noble, (D) McMinnville. "The likelihood that the full $300 million will be funded simply through state funding is pretty slim."

City leaders will be lobbying state lawmakers for additional funding, and will also be pursuing federal highway funds to complete the project.

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