Anatomy of a Failed Infrastructure Project: Columbia River Crossing

Bloomberg Businessweek examines the failed Columbia River Crossing project as a poster child for how political dysfunction is derailing critically needed infrastructure.
January 12, 2015, 9am PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Peter Robinson recaps the details of a project that came to its demise in March of 2014: "After spending $200 million in state and federal money on surveys and designs, lawmakers in Oregon and Washington scuttled the proposed Columbia River Crossing, a project backed by the governors of both states."

The article blames the failure of the project on both "Tea Party conservatives" and "left-wing environmentalists." According to Robinson, "[it] also reflects the inability of the Obama administration to influence state legislators when it comes to replacing crucial national infrastructure." 

Robinson goes on to describe the costs of maintaining the status quo, which includes huge costs for retrofitting the bridge to current seismic standards as well as unknown opportunity cost from economic development.

[Updated with the correct year for the end of the project.]

 

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Published on Thursday, January 8, 2015 in Bloomberg BusinessWeek
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