When reviewing a proposal from private entities, local or regional governments, the department, or other units of government having an interest in the installation of a tollway to authorize a tollway project, the commission will consider:
The opinions and interests of units of government encompassing or adjacent to the path of the proposed tollway project in having the tollway installed;
The probable impact of the proposed tollway project on local environmental, aesthetic and economic conditions and on the economy of the state in general, considered in a manner similar to the way these factors are considered for other highway projects;
The extent to which funding other than state funding is available for the proposed tollway project, considered in a manner similar to the way other funds are considered for other highway projects;
The likelihood that the estimated use of the tollway project will provide sufficient revenues to independently finance the costs related to the construction and future maintenance, repair and reconstruction of the tollway project, including the repayment of any loans to be made from moneys in the State Tollway Account;
With respect to tollway projects, any portion of which will be financed with state funds or department loans or grants:
The relative importance of the proposed tollway project compared to other proposed tollways; and
Traffic congestion and economic conditions in the communities that will be affected by competing tollway projects, and the extent to which these conditions are diminished or improved;
The effects of tollway implementation on community and local street traffic, their magnitude, and expected impacts on community livability as estimated by the department;
The purpose and goals of the proposal and their consistency with the other factors considered here;
The use of toll revenue in addition to toll revenue used to pay tollway costs, including but not limited to debt service and costs connected with the issuance or administration of bonds or other financial obligations, acquisition, design, construction, reconstruction, improvement, installation, maintenance, operation and repair; consistent with Oregon statutes and the Oregon Constitution;
The extent of business and public support;
Whether the tollway facility can be operated as proposed;
Whether the proposal is well enough developed to be included in the current or a future Statewide Transportation Improvement Program;
The effect on funding for other projects in the current or a future Statewide Transportation Improvement Program; and
Whether implementation of the proposal would violate Federal rules or statutes.
Proposers shall address all of the above criteria in each proposal. Proposals shall be submitted to the department, and the department will review each proposal to determine if the proposal is complete. Within 45 days from when the department determines that the proposal is complete, the director will submit the proposal and department comments, if any, to the commission for review.
No tollway project shall be authorized unless the commission finds that either:
Based on the department’s estimate of present and future traffic patterns, the revenues generated by the tollway project will be sufficient, after payment of all obligations incurred in connection with the acquisition, construction and operation of such tollway project, to ensure the continued maintenance, repair and reconstruction of the tollway project without the contribution of additional public funds; or
The revenues generated by the tollway project will be at least sufficient to pay its operational expenses and a portion of the costs of its construction, maintenance, repair and reconstruction, and the importance of the tollway project to the welfare or economy of the state is great enough, as determined by the commission, to justify the use of public funding for a portion of its construction, maintenance, repair and reconstruction.
After consideration of all of the above factors, the commission, in a duly noticed meeting, may authorize a proposed tollway project for further study, may authorize a proposal for further study subject to conditions that must be met by the proposer, or may refuse to authorize the proposal. The commission’s authorization for further study shall not include an application of the state land use goals and shall not be a land use decision.
For a tollway project proposal authorized for further study by the commission under this section, the commission may conduct or cause to be conducted any geological, environmental, land use, engineering or other studies required by law as a condition of construction.
The commission shall not consider authorizing a proposed tollway project for construction until the tollway project has been included as a tollway in the local or regional transportation system plan of jurisdictions in which the project would be located. In addition, the commission must find the proposed project to be consistent with the policies and actions adopted in the Oregon Transportation Plan and the Oregon Highway Plan as of July 19, 2012.
After consideration of the results of any studies undertaken under OAR 731-040-0050 (Evaluation and Authorization)(5) and (6) as well as the other factors listed in this rule, the commission, in a duly noticed meeting, may authorize the proposed tollway project for construction, may conditionally authorize the proposed tollway project for construction, or may refuse to authorize the proposed tollway project for construction. After a tollway project is authorized or conditionally authorized for construction, it will be added to the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program.
The commission may refer the proposal or specific components of the proposal to the department for analysis and recommendations at any time before it issues findings;
The commission will issue findings to support its decision to authorize, conditionally authorize or not authorize a tollway project for either further study or construction.