The transportation funding bill passed by the 2017 Oregon Legislature and signed by Governor Brown included legislation that will transfer jurisdiction of the sections of NW Cornelius Pass Road between Highway 26 and Highway 30 from Multnomah and Washington counties to the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT). The legislation did not establish a timeline for the transfer.

Since Governor Brown signed the legislation in 2017, staff from Multnomah County met several times with ODOT officials to review issues involved in the transfer. State Senator Betsy Johnson of Scappoose attended one meeting to gain an understanding of the issues and timeline for the transfer.

Transfer Tasks

Transferring a local road to the state requires a number of steps, including:

  • Survey and inventories to document what facilities are to be transferred
  • Transfer of maintenance and permit records
  • Legal agreements to transfer right of way between agencies
  • Complying with standards and regulations of the new jurisdiction
  • Planning for maintenance and emergency response
  • Public notice

One goal of the transfer is to bring the standard of the road up to the standards of ODOT, to the greatest extent possible. Standards include elements such as traffic signs, guardrails and road geometry.

ODOT staff have asked Multnomah County to complete its planned safety improvements before the transfer is complete.  The improvements – which include guardrails, advisory speed signs, sightline improvements, and realigned curves -- will help bring the road closer to ODOT standards.

An initial review of jurisdictional transfer issues indicates that Cornelius Pass Road will not be transferred to ODOT before the end of 2019.