Nov 16, 2021
Press Release
Revitalization will Boost Economy and Improve Transportation Access

Congressman Peter DeFazio (OR-04) today announced a $19 million grant for the Franklin Boulevard Corridor revival project. The project will redesign Franklin, a vital link between Eugene and Springfield, as a modern boulevard to serve multiple needs of the community, improving bike and pedestrian safety and access, increasing transit opportunity and reliability, and stimulating economic activity long-term.

“The funding announced today benefits a climate-smart project that supports our recovery and increases our resilience,” said Rep. DeFazio. “The multimodal transformation of Franklin Boulevard has been a huge priority in our community for years. As Chair of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, I’ve worked to provide additional federal funding for projects like this and repeatedly urged the Department of Transportation to support this project. I’m glad our community will receive funding to transform this major, outdated state highway and finally remove barriers to investment, mobility, and access.”

“Eugene is grateful to be part of the Eugene-Springfield-LTD team that received the $19M award from the US Department of Transportation for the redesign and construction of Franklin Blvd.  The new design includes increased mobility and safety options for people walking, biking and riding the bus within one of Eugene’s busiest corridors that links Eugene and Springfield downtown areas with the University of Oregon,” said Eugene Mayor Lucy Vinis. “All of Eugene should be thankful for the support of our federal delegation, Senators Wyden and Merkley, and in particular Congressman DeFazio for his years of leadership on transportation policy, including the recently passed Bipartisan Infrastructure Package, and his direct support for these federal investments in Franklin Boulevard as the gateway to Eugene and the U of O.”

“The City of Springfield is honored to receive this RAISE grant to help rebuild Franklin Boulevard.  Our community deserves a modern transportation corridor which emphasizes roadway safety and mobility,” said Springfield Mayor Sean VanGordon.  We are grateful to our partners at the City of Eugene and Lane Transit District for their teamwork in bringing these competitive funds to our region.  This award will set the tone locally for America’s planned reinvestment in critical infrastructure over the next decade to support quality of life, jobs, transportation choices, and a healthy local economy.  We cannot thank Congressman Peter DeFazio enough for his support and long-time, strategic vision in partnership with our two Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley.”

“I am delighted that the US Department of Transportation has recognized the value of investing in an enhanced Franklin Boulevard Corridor to better link Springfield and Eugene, including a transit component,” said Lane County Board Chair Joe Berney (representing the Springfield District). “This project will result in new engineering and construction jobs in the short term, and economic development potential that will blossom through the improvements made in Glenwood.  Our federal delegation has my thanks for the work they did to ensure this project checked all the boxes through the grant application and review process.  They continue to be the champions we need in Washington, DC.”

In July, Congressman DeFazio sent a letter to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg strongly supporting the grant application made by the cities of Eugene and Springfield and the Lane Transit District (LTD) to reconstruct and revive a deteriorating Franklin Boulevard. Congressman DeFazio has made repeated requests to the Department of Transportation (DOT) to support the project.

The transformation of Franklin Boulevard will boost access and reliability, increase walkability and bikeability, enhance pedestrian and bike safety, improve transit, and boost local economic growth in Oregon’s second largest metro area for years to come.