Hayden Island resident Sam Churchill shares his thoughts on the Interstate Bridge Replacement Program
Clark County Today Editor Ken Vance offered his thoughts on the I-5 Bridge Replacement Project. The conclusion: No Light Rail to Vancouver.
Opinion: ‘If elected officials insist on light rail as a component of the I-5 Bridge replacement, this latest project could be the same spectacular failure that the CRC was’
“Investing $3.5 billion in the failed CRC for a one-minute improvement in the morning (southbound) commute was a horrible value for taxpayers. Today, we have Interstate Bridge Replacement officials talking about spending $4 to $5 billion, with no mention of how much improvement there might be in people’s commute times.”
The argument FOR light rail into Vancouver is two-fold: One, it reduces congestion because Vancouver commuters can use the rail. Two, federal bucks pay for it.
I hang on to the belief that both Oregon and Washington will come around to the advantages of a Musk-like tunnel for rubber tired electric transport. They can pick you up at your house and deliver you to your destination. It’s also cheaper. Between $10-$20 million per mile or $500 million for a tunnel from Vancouver to Portland rather than a $5 billion bridge across the Columbia (that doesn’t help congestion).
If you live on Hayden Island, you’d be nuts to think a 12-18 lane viaduct — towering 50 feet overhead — will improve commute times. It won’t improve commute times for anyone.
Fix the bridge, sure…but put in a (cheap) Electric Vehicle tunnel connecting Vancouver to Portland. Is it the BEST transportation solution for people on BOTH sides of the river? Maybe yes. Maybe no.
But DOTs and Transit agencies will NEVER support it. There’s nothing in it for them. Simple as that.