The North Coast is growing and with it, the need to maintain, repair and improve our bridges, roads, highways, and municipal water systems. These efforts require large amounts of capital. Our state is now rated near America’s bottom among the 50 states for infrastructure. This is bad for business. Due to tax cutting initiatives, the ability of state and local governments to meet demand for these capital investments has fallen behind. Our roads will need to accommodate greater numbers of travelers and keep commercial haulers moving efficiently in and out of our communities. The cost of delay will only increase. We must act before disaster or tragedy strikes. It’s time to invest in our future.

As a candidate for the Oregon House in this district, I have been listening to your concerns. Dale McDowell, Seaside Public Works Director, recently told me of Seaside’s most pressing infrastructure concern: The Avenue U Bridge. Upgrade work is shovel ready but lacking $6 million funding. The upgrade is necessary to avoid likely destruction in an earthquake. Even were the funding available, the Oregon Department of Transportation lacks the funding to hire necessary project managers. Another example: bicyclists, pedestrians and public safety would be well served by a pedestrian overpass in Gearhart across highway 101. Yet such a project lacks funding despite obvious need and benefit. The State must be more responsive to local infrastructure needs on the North Coast. If I am elected, I will do my best to see that it is.

John F. Orr

Astoria

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