Oregon projects score in Obama budget

Oregon projects score in Obama budget
FILE - In this April 5, 2013 file photo, President Barack Obama speaks in the East Room of the White House in Washington. President Barack Obama's second term is on the line, with gun control and immigration in the spotlight on Capitol Hill this week and the White House releasing his long-delayed budget proposal. His victories or defeats will help define his legacy and determine how much political capital he has for the rest of his term. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

Two projects with the potential to spark new commercial development opportunities received nods in President Barack Obama's budget released earlier this week.

The president's proposed spending plan, which has sparked plenty of debate, would send money to Oregon for both the Portland-Milwaukie light rail and Columbia River Crossing projects.

The president's budget includes $100 million for the light rail project, now under construction. It's the second year that money for the project has been included in the White House spending plan. The 7.3-mile extension of Portland's light rail system is one of 17 projects that have existing full funding grant agreements with the Federal Transit Administration.

The budget also includes $65 million for the $3.5 billion Columbia River Crossing, which will result in a new Interstate 5 span between Portland and Vancouver. Oregon has approved $450 million for the project, and Washington lawmakers are considering a proposal that would match that amount.

If all the money is approved, that leaves about $2.5 billion that would need to come from a yet-to-be decided toll collection system and other sources.

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