Last week a conceptual plan for a new bridge over the Columbia River was unveiled at a public forum in Vancouver, WA. The plan, presented by Florida-based Figg Engineering, calls for a four-lane bridge east of I-205. The new bridge would have 144 feet of river clearance – the same as the I-205 Bridge — and include sidewalks and bikeways completely protected from highway traffic.

The financing is still to be determined, but could involve user fees, known as tolls. In fact, one option would be for the bridge to be privately owned and operated, paid entirely with tolls. Those drivers unwilling to pay could continue to use the Glenn Jackson Bridge, as they do today.

Oregon political officials are notably cold towards the idea of a third or fourth bridge over the Columbia. Local politicians believe that the two bridges we have now are all we should ever get – even though Portland is served by nearly a dozen bridges over the smaller Willamette River.

As the Portland-Vancouver region grows we will need much more bridge capacity. Since government won’t provide it, we should welcome this opportunity to pursue a private investment option.

John A. Charles, Jr. is President and CEO of Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon’s free market public policy research organization.

6 thoughts on “Time for a Third Bridge to Vancouver

  1. OK, hold on. at first glance such a bridge might sound like a good idea, but…

    But wait until after the November mid-term elections, after which Obama will have almost no incentive to not loose his final plans for the USA.

    He is lawless and no one has stopped him as he has escalated his lawlessness geometrically.
    –My guess?
    a) His intention is to become America’s first dictator
    b) Tank the dollar
    c) Make America lower than any present 3rd-world country.
    d. At the very least Dem/Libs will defraud every election from now on, as they have been ramping that up with impunity, too.

    Wait n’ watch a few months, I am probably right.

  2. We haven’t built a bypass of the core of the City of Portland since 1985 with the I-205 bridge, and yet we’ve added hundreds of thousands in additional population in the Metro Area. Other large cities have multiple bypasses of the downtown core, but Portland only has one freakin bypass.
    I would like West side bypass idea instead of Medora’s east side bypass. The West side bypass would link to Oregon’s real economic growth engine, that of Washington County highway 26 corridor. It would set off a boom in economic growth. No doubt about it.

  3. The problem with things on this scale is that the state is greatly disinclined to leave them truly private, and firms are tempted by the sorts of privileges that the state offers. (Indeed, incorporation itself is a first step away from genuine privatization.)

    The greed of politicians, of corporate executives, of bureaucrats, and of voters almost guarantees a poor outcome here.

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