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Opinion: Columbia River Crossing Just Another Highway Expansion

Billed as a "bridge replacement," the latest iteration of the Columbia River Crossing project is a costly expansion that will impose new tolls and cost upwards of $5 billion, according to an article by Joe Cortright.
May 12, 2021, 11am PDT | Diana Ionescu | @aworkoffiction
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Writing in City Observatory, Joe Cortright criticizes the Columbia River Crossing (CRC) project as "vastly oversized and over-priced, with current cost estimates ranging as high as nearly $5 billion (before cost-overruns)." The project, a joint venture between the Oregon and Washington transportation departments, is now billed as a "bridge replacement," a euphemism that Cortright claims obscures the true impact of what amounts to "a massive freeway expansion."

According to Cortright, the project is "a five-mile long, 12-lane wide freeway that just happens to cross a river" that will cost $5 billion and impose $5 round-trip tolls on drivers. "While the agency is hinting at the possibility of “design” tweaks—it’s apparent that their plan is to simply recycle the failed CRC proposal."

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Published on Monday, May 3, 2021 in City Observatory City Commentary
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