Letter: Proving that more bridges could help alleviate traffic congestion is proving a point ‘that didn’t need to be proven’

Vancouver’s Jaynee Haygood offers her thoughts on a potential I-5 Bridge replacement project and how it impacts traffic congestion

Editor’s note: Opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are those of the author alone and do not reflect the editorial position of ClarkCountyToday.com

In John Ley’s recent opinion piece (Dec. 9), “A ‘Data-Driven’ Response to Governors Inslee and Brown,” he speaks of the data showing the need for a third bridge across I-5. 

Jaynee Haygood
Jaynee Haygood

I am certain the data does show that a third bridge could help alleviate traffic congestion, so would a fourth bridge and a fifth. Just as I’m sure adding more police and firemen would be of great benefit to us too. He’s proven a point that didn’t need to be proven. 

The main question we must all ask ourselves is what takes priority: traffic safety or traffic congestion? And is there a way to help with both. The simple answer is yes. The I-5 Bridge has been deemed “structurally deficient,” meaning its entire structure is deficient (parts are cracked, failing, and not up to code) and if those failures are damaged in any event it is most likely the entire structure will collapse. 

While Mr. Ley will argue that all bridges will be damaged during a seismic event, that is not the same as total collapse. If you were given two choices of daycare locations to send your child to, and one informed you that it’s building was “structurally deficient” and likely to collapse during a major event or earthquake and thus kill your child, whereas the other daycare said that in the event of a storm or earthquake it might experience some damage, which one would you send your child too? 

Repairing the I-5 Bridge does nothing to alleviate congestion and only focuses on a seismic event — not addressing the other problems (narrow lanes, etc). Replacing the I-5 Bridge will not only bring it back up to the safety standards needed for public safety, but also alleviate traffic congestion, thus tackling two birds with one stone. I realize the bill for a new bridge is going to be painful for the taxpayers, and as a taxpayer that rarely uses the I-5 Bridge, I really get it. But, no person should have to fear for their lives or that of their family members as they commute to work. And, and absolutely no one should ever have to bury a loved one if it could have been prevented.

Jaynee Haygood

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