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Clark County Council trying to block tolling for new I-5 bridge

The council is set to discuss a resolution urging the federal government to provide enough funding to avoid local tolls

CLARK COUNTY — The Clark County Council is set to debate another resolution centered around the possible replacement of the Interstate Bridge on I-5.

The council joined several local cities and the Southwest Washington Regional Transportation Council recently in approving a resolution in support of a new Interstate Bridge. The county included more language about added traffic capacity in their resolution, which will be sent to Washington Governor Jay Inslee.

The Interstate Bridge on I-5 (file photo). Photo by Mike Schultz
The Interstate Bridge on I-5 (file photo). Photo by Mike Schultz

But the resolution councilors will debate next week is aimed at the Federal government, and focuses on tolling.

The resolution has no number, and is expected to be discussed at next week’s council time meeting on Wednesday, so it’s possible the council will decide not to move forward with it. If they do move ahead, the goal is to request that the Federal government provide enough funding for the bridge project that local tolling isn’t needed.

“Whereas Interstate 5 is a key arterial highway serving military and national defense needs,” the resolution reads, also pointing out that the bridge would be the only spot in the 1,400 miles of I-5 with any toll, and that federal policy has previously been not to allow tolls on Interstates.

“The Clark County Council urges Congress and the President of the United States to provide federal funding in an amount sufficient to replace the Interstate 5 bridge across the Columbia River without implementing tolls,” the proposed resolution concludes.

The administration of President Donald Trump has appeared more open to allowing tolls on highways that cross state lines, putting Oregon’s plan to toll parts of I-5 and I-205 in the Portland metro area on a more probably path to approval. Oregon’s Transportation Commission is currently working on a tolling proposal for the Federal Highway Administration, which is due by the end of the year.

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About The Author

Chris Brown

Chris Brown comes to Clark County Today with 15 years of local news experience as a reporter, editor, and anchor at KXL News Radio and KOIN-6 TV in Portland. In 2016, he won an Oregon Association of Broadcaster's award for Best Investigative Reporting for a series on America's Violent Youth. He has also been awarded by the Associated Press for Best Breaking News coverage as editor of Portland's Morning News following the 2015 school shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon. The second oldest of eight home-schooled children, Brown graduated from high school two years early. After several odd jobs, he earned an internship at KXL Radio, eventually working his way into a full-time job. Brown has lived in Clark County his entire life, and is very excited at the opportunity to now focus full-time on the significant stories happening in his own back yard, rather than across “the river.’’ After a few years in Vancouver, he recently moved back to Battle Ground with his wife and two young daughters. When he's not working to report what's happening in Clark County, Brown enjoys spending time with his family, playing music, taking pictures, or working in the yard. He also actually does enjoy long walks on the beach, and sunsets.

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