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Reviving the Failed Columbia River Crossing to Connect Oregon, Washington
"Gov. Kate Brown wants Oregon to accelerate plans to replace the Interstate Bridge," reported Andrew Theen on April 2.
Governor Brown's words of support followed Washington Governor Jay Inslee calling for $17.5 million in funding to open a new bi-state office to lead design, engineering, and public outreach for the project known as the Columbia River Crossing.
"In a March 20 letter to the chair of the Oregon Transportation Commission, Brown said the aging bridge spanning the Columbia River is 'a seismic risk, a freight bottleneck, a barrier to effective public transportation and a source of some of the worst gridlock in the nation,'" reports Theen.
Later in the week, Theen reported that Governor Brown was suggesting a new name for the project—the Interstate Bridge Replacement (IBR).
The Columbia River Crossing or Interstate Bridge Replacement project recently made news another kind on the Portland region highway project beat, when Joe Cortright discovered the project had factored into the math in an environmental assessment for the proposed I-5 Rose Quarter Improvement Project.
Many of the projected benefits listed in that environmental assessment (e.g., improved air quality, travel times, and traffic safety) assumed that the Columbia River Crossing, long defunct and subject only recently to the speculative political support reported here, would be built.