Construction is under way on four bus shelters in Grants Pass that generated a controversy earlier this year. Work on a fifth shelter will begin soon and all five are scheduled to be completed by the end of January.
The bus shelters are being funded with federal money through the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality program. CMAQ funds, which come from federal gas taxes, often come with specific federal and Oregon Department of Transportation requirements that drive up costs.
The shelters became controversial last January when the Grants Pass City Council voted to increase the project's budget by $150,000, pushing the total budget past $530,000. Public outcry over the expense prompted a revote and reversal on Jan. 18 as well as a temporary halt to the project.
While many citizens criticized the cost of shelters, others emphasized the value of building the shelters. Supporters said the shelters encourage people to use public transportation, which reduces pollution and promotes healthier behavior than using automobiles.
On Feb. 1, the council voted to proceed with the project, but at the original budget of $388,000.
The shelters are being built at:
— Jim Moore, Daily Courier