Statement on the Columbia River Crossing Project
For Immediate Release
Statement on the
Columbia River Crossing Project
PORTLAND, Ore. – In light of the decision by the governors of Washington and Oregon to shut down planning for the Columbia River Crossing (CRC) project, John A. Charles, Jr., President and CEO of Cascade Policy Institute, issued the following statement:
“The CRC was never a solution to any transportation problem, and the Washington State Legislature did the right thing by refusing to appropriate more money for it.
“As the two Northwest governors move forward, they should consider the following points:
- The Interstate Bridge is not in any danger of imminent collapse and should be used for decades to come.
- Expansion of rail transit between Vancouver and Portland should be taken off the table. Existing express bus service operated by C-TRAN is already providing excellent transit between the two cities.
- Any new bridge should have a minimum river clearance of 144 feet, which matches the Glenn Jackson Bridge.
- The governors should consider building at least two new Columbia River bridges in the region, one to the west of I-5 and one to the east of I-205. The reasons are to create redundancy in the case of an earthquake, and to provide better connectivity between the states. By dispersing traffic across four bridges, most congestion problems will disappear, making all classes of bridge users better off and reducing emissions caused by congestion.
“We have ten bridges across the Willamette River in Portland, and each serves an important purpose. There is no policy reason why we should restrict the number of Columbia River crossings to just two.”