The End of the $2.8 Billion Columbia River Crossing Project

The Oregon Legislature adjourned this week with no actions regarding the Columbia River Crossing—a controversial project with opponents on either side of the aisle.

“The Oregon Department of Transportation announced Friday it is closing the I-5 bridge project's offices, issuing cease-work orders to its many contractors and shutting the project down entirely by May 31,” writes Jeff Manning. 

“The end comes after more than a decade of work and nearly $190 million worth of planning, engineering, financial and traffic forecasting and other work.”

An unlikely coalition of political interests opposed the project, according to Manning: “The project’s demise is an enormous victory for both environmental and urban planning groups from the left and conservative fiscal hawks from the right. This Green Tea Party, as they came to call themselves, attacked the project as a wasteful, bloated plan that was financially imprudent and promoted sprawl.”

In a separate article on the Seattle Transit Blog, Frank Chiachiere argues that recent highway projects have taken on too much complexity: “In an effort to mollify an ever-growing list of stakeholders, planners keep adding features – lanes, off-ramps, lids, walls – until the project gets too expensive and collapses (metaphorically speaking) like a Christmas tree with too many ornaments.”

Full Story: Columbia River Crossing: ODOT to pull plug, bridge project is dead


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