Concerns Over Tolls and Sprawl May Determine Bridge Width

Plans for a new bridge over the Columbia River in Oregon have local officials in a debate over lanes, tolls and sprawl.

"Both the Metro and Portland councils are concerned that a bridge with too many lanes would boost driving and related pollution, promote suburban sprawl in northern Clark County and eventually refill the highway with the congestion that now thwarts the freight corridor."

"Planners with the Oregon and Washington transportation departments say the Columbia River Crossing project would avoid those downsides. The bridge those planners are proposing would double the six lanes currently spanning the river to 12, but the project would include toll charges and light rail that would combine to promote mass transit use and discourage driving."

"Bridge planners assumed three toll rates, charged at the bridge on both sides of the river: $2 each way during rush hour, $1.50 off-peak and $1 at midday and nighttime. The prices were based on the assumption that about one-third of the project's total cost would be paid by toll revenue."

Full Story: The toll may tip the debate on the size of a new Interstate 5 bridge

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