CORVALLIS - More than 400 transportation professionals from throughout Oregon and the Pacific Northwest are expected for the 2000 Northwest Transportation Conference, Feb. 1-3 at Oregon State University, to discuss "Smart Transportation" and the technology that will be used in the new millennium.

The conference, which is designed for professional engineers, will be at the CH2M-HILL Alumni Center. It includes sessions on bridge technology, access management, low volume roads, public transportation, freight, environmental sustainability, transportation finance and many more subjects.

A student poster competition will recognize outstanding transportation research by students of Pacific Northwest universities, offering cash prizes to the best presentations. The first morning of the conference will offer a tour of rail facilities and demonstration of high tech road maintenance equipment.

"The Northwest Transportation Conference has been held approximately every two years since 1949," said Chris Bell, associate dean of the OSU College of Engineering. "The conference has served as a forum for engineers, designers, builders, operators, planners and other transportation officials."

This year the meetings will incorporate the annual meeting and conference of the Oregon chapter of ITS America. Other sponsors participating in the organization of the conference include OSU, Portland State University, Oregon Department of Transportation, Benton County Public Works, Federal Highway Administration, U.S. Forest Service, and Institute of Transportation Engineers.

Two plenary sessions are planned for Tuesday afternoon and include "Smart Transportation," featuring a keynote address by John Collins, president of ITS America; and "Transportation Finance After HB 2082," featuring current and former legislators with finance experts in a discussion on the future of transportation funding.

Professional engineers receive continuing education credits for conference participation.

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Chris Bell, 541-737-1598