POLL: Should area city councils and other partners ask for a delay or vote no on the Locally Preferred Alternative for the Interstate Bridge replacement until updated cost estimates, finance plan and other factors are better defined?

Should area city councils and other partners ask for a delay or vote no on the Locally Preferred Alternative for the Interstate Bridge replacement until updated cost estimates, finance plan and other factors are better defined?

Should area city councils and other partners ask for a delay or vote no on the Locally Preferred Alternative for the Interstate Bridge replacement until updated cost estimates, finance plan and other factors are better defined?
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Jan
Jan
16 days ago

This week, with the high water on the Columbia, ships would be unable to go under a 116 foot bridge! The concerns of the Coadt Guard should be addressed. You also have an airport that should be considered. And, again, we need two more bridges to alleviate congestion.

Richard L Bullington
Richard L Bullington
13 days ago
Reply to  Jan

You may believe that “we need two more bridges to alleviate congestion” and, in some “everybody should be able to drive anywhere, anytime for free” sense, you may be correct.

However, you completely ignore the political realities of the situation. Oregon really doesn’t want us commuting over there, at least, not at one person per car which is very close to the ACO during the peaks. [It’s 1.15 on I-5].

The last time I looked at a map, the State of Oregon is “domestically” sovereign over every inch of the south bank of the Columbia River. The United States of course supersedes it for national questions, but a parochial project to bridge the river is way below its pay-grade. It doesn’t WANT to get involved in a bi-State squabble.

Certainly, the United States has claimed the right to supervise and if necessary embargo bridges and tunnels which cross the navigable waterways of the nation, even those entirely within a given state. So the Coast Guard can certainly dictate a minimum height above mean water, and Federal Courts would very likely uphold their authority.

So, if the CG says “the bridge has to be higher”, and the IBR engineers say “it can’t be any higher and meet Federal Interstate grade requirements, then the only option is to build the central portion of the bridge at the 116 foot level and place a rarely used lift span there. If Washington and Oregon can’t bear the additional costs, well then, the tolls will just go on longer.

But there will never be an additional freeway-style crossing of the Columbia River between the extreme northern end of Sauvie Island and The Bridge of the Gods. Oregon doesn’t want the additional autos dumped into their already clogged freeway system. If the IBR folks decide to forego Light Rail on the replacement bridge, at some time in the future a lifting bridge between the I-5 crossing and the BNSF bridge might be built for MAX to cross to downtown Vancouver. There might be a truck only bridge built somewhere around Woodland or the Lewis and Clark Bridge at Longview might possibly be paralleled and US 30 improved to the Port of Portland.

But the bitter truth is that Oregon doesn’t like us any more. We used to be the feckless but beloved “little brother”, but since the cabal of reactionaries reading this website have spent the past decade slurring, insulting, and deriding Oregonians and Oregon, [“Crime Train”, “Loot Rail”, etc] they don’t like us any more.

We can pound sand so far as they’re concerned. They are in no mood to “compromise”. It’s the IBR or no bridge ever.

Gregory M Duvic
Gregory M Duvic
11 days ago

Both points are well taken. With all the planners wanting to put their pencil mark on the plan and all the impact statements and future lawsuits between agencies it won’t happen for many many years. It will probably be obsolete when it’s finished anyhow.