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County gets grant to develop emergency routes

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Clatsop County was been awarded a state grant to create a plan for emergency evacuation routes and facilities. The $132,000 grant was one of 12 recently awarded statewide through the Transportation and Growth Management Program, a joint initiative of the Oregon Department of Transportation and Department of Land Conservation and Development.

The money will fund the development of a tsunami evacuation facilities improvement plan, intended to identify routes and accompanying facilities to save lives during and after a tsunami event, including any future Cascadia Zone earthquake and tsunami.

The project will be led by the county Community Development Department in partnership with the county’s Public Works and Emergency Management departments. They’ll assess the vulnerability of the county transportation infrastructure; analyze existing evacuation facilities and improvement needs; identify, evaluate and prioritize needed evacuation facility improvements, including evacuation route right-of-way dedications; identify and prioritize options that provide dual uses; and identify financing options to implement the plan.

A key feature of the plan will be identifying the best locations for routes that not only can provide safe evacuation from tsunami inundation zones for residents and visitors, but can also serve as year-round recreational facilities, such as off-road bicycle paths.

It will also identify “lifeline” routes for delivering goods in the aftermath of an event.

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