Interest in getting Highway 101 designated as an All American Road was discussed by state and local officials at the recent meeting of the Coastal Policy Advisory Committee on Transportation.
The committee, which meets quarterly to discuss transportation needs and programs, gathered in Brookings-Harbor for the first time in recent memory.
Terry Cole, of the Oregon Department of Transportation, told committee members there is interest in applying for All-American Roads designation for Highway 101.
The benefits would be a much higher level of marketing for the highway and towns located along it, such as Brookings, Cole said.
When Highway 101 in Oregon was given national byway designation starting in 1997-98, it took 10 percent of the national funding in the first round, Cole said.
The process is a lot more competitive and well be competing with some 81 designated byways for funds, he said.
Highway 101 would be a natural for All-American designation as a major link in an international highway, he said.
Brookings City Councilor Larry Curry said, I dont feel there will be the kind of objections that we met before.
In other business, committee chairman Don Lindly, chairman, had nothing but praise for the beauty of the drive down the coast.
In the absence of Curry Commissioner Bill Roberts and Mayor Bob Hagbom, Councilor Curry welcomed the delegates.
Its my privilege to welcome you to the city of Brookings, Curry said. Weve wanted to get you down here for a long, long time. I hope this will be a regular event.
Its a beautiful drive, Lindly said. But it gives me a real appreciation for the sacrifices you have to make to attend the meetings up north.
Following approval of the minutes of the July 14 meeting, the committee discussed Oregon Department of Transportation access management, local street network and modernization bond fund priorities totaling $36.8 million for Region 2.
Of $9,804,000 available from the Local Street Network Bond Fund, projects were funded in Astoria, Salem, Philomath, Springfield, Tillamook, Newberg, Lincoln City, Veneta and Monmouth-Independence.
Six projects totaling $7,014,000 made the cut for Access Management Bond Fund priorities.
The projects included a Highway 18 refinement plan in McMinnville and one in Polk County, a Coburg, Roberts feeder road to Interstate 5, East Main Street in Springfield, Highway 101 access to Agate Beach in Newport, and an Oregon 34 interchange on I-5 in Linn County.
The committee also heard a report on the ODOT pedestrian and local street funding program by program manager, Michael Ronkin.
West Side Byways Specialist Lea Ann Hart-Chambers led a discussion on federal and state scenic byways updates, including the proposed statewide byway workshop in Bend in January 2001, and the proposed 2001 National Scenic Byway Conference in Bend and Portland in August.
Hart-Chambers said an appropriations bill to fund scenic byway improvements has passed and there is an on-line application process.
Onno Husey, Oregon Coastal Zone Management Authority, asked whether scenic byway funds could be used to put utility lines underground.
Yes, Hart-Chambers replied. You can use scenic byway funds to combine utility lines and put them on one side of the highway.