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, 11:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


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JPL Designs / Shutterstock

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."

Monday, May 3, 2021 in City Observatory City Commentary

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