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Oregon Federal Lands Access Program (FLAP) Statewide Needs Assessment

Introduction

The Oregon Federal Lands Access Program (FLAP) has provided funding to state and local transportation system owners in support of federal lands access improvements since 2013. FLAP supplements state and local resources for public roads, transit systems, and other multimodal transportation facilities, with an emphasis on high-use recreation sites and economic generators. From 2013 to 2021, Oregon has received approximately $276 million in FLAP distributions; the most recent 2022 Oregon FLAP Request for Proposals estimates $35.7 million annually for projects that will be programmed in 2024 and 2025. Due to state values for recreation visits, federal land area, and public road miles and bridges, Oregon benefits from a larger allocation of FLAP funding each cycle when compared to other states.

Currently, projects funded by the FLAP are identified through a competitive process where non-federal applicants propose projects, these projects are evaluated against a set of criteria, and final selections are determined collaboratively by the state’s Programming Decisions Committee. Many of Oregon’s FLAP funds go towards necessary maintenance and capital construction projects in rural counties, with local agencies historically receiving the majority of funds and project awards. While the FLAP Request for Proposals process has advanced critical transportation improvements across the state, a more structured approach to identifying unmet federal access needs would help ensure program funds are directed towards projects that will measurably improve access and provide the greatest benefit to all partners. A “pipeline of projects” will provide decisionmakers with a tool to better understand and anticipate federal lands access needs in Oregon, for FLAP funding and beyond.

At the same time, FHWA and Federal Land Management Agencies (FLMA) are prioritizing multi-agency integrated transportation planning, which bring together federal agencies, state DOTs, and MPOs for a comprehensive dialogue on transportation challenges and opportunities which require coordinated planning. The goal is to have better aligned planning processes, develop shared needs, and identify eligible funding opportunities to improve access to federal lands. There is a strong relationship between identifying federal access needs and developing a strong, integrated approach between FLMAs and the statewide planning process. The Oregon FLAP Statewide Needs Assessment goals are to:

  • Identify and prioritize unmet federal lands access project needs throughout Oregon;
  • Develop a project evaluation framework to prioritize statewide needs; and
  • Establish a FLAP strategic investment plan that articulates the prioritized federal lands access needs and improvement options for consideration in future Oregon FLAP funding cycles.

Scope and Schedule

The Oregon FLAP Statewide Needs Assessment is guided by a multi-agency project management team composed of local, state, and federal agencies interested in federal lands access. The key tasks are to:

  • Summarize and document existing plans and studies that inform Oregon federal lands transportation project needs
  • Create a base map of existing conditions
  • Conduct needs assessment workshops to identify and analyze unmet federal lands access needs
  • Develop a needs prioritization framework
  • Prepare Oregon FLAP Investment Strategy and Final Report

The Oregon FLAP Statewide Needs Assessment’s anticipated timeline is two years (March 2022 through March 2024), with engagement opportunities throughout.

How to Engage

Currently, the project delivery team is summarizing existing plans and studies to inform federal lands access transportation project needs. Examples of plans and studies that will be reviewed include long range transportation plans, modal studies (bicycle and pedestrian plans, transit plans, etc.), land management agency unit plans, road safety audits, and more. To ensure critical federal lands transportation needs are considered, FHWA WFL would like your feedback on which specific plans and studies should be included in this review. Click here for a survey where you can provide additional information.

To stay up to date on the project, visit this project page regularly and contact the project delivery team at OregonFLAP_Assessment@dot.gov with any questions or comments.

Project Documents