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fixing a bridge until it is broke - CRC WTF?

Powerfully stupid people put our children's children into debt and make Portland suck.
image from the Portland Mercury
image from the Portland Mercury
Here is a brief essay on why the Columbia River Crossing is so very bad:

Presently the CRC design will replace the existing I-5 bridge at a
cost of 4.3 Billion USD.

The source of funding is unclear. Some think the state and federal gov
will pay for it, others say we will need to create toll booths, others
think we can just push the burden off indefinitely. All are kind of
possible, but the real truth is that most big projects cost run way
over budget. The tram cost $57 million to build - a nearly fourfold
increase over initial cost estimates.

Supporters offer a variety of reasons for a big bridge: future growth,
provide jobs, protecting interstate travel, the old bridge is falling
apart, its packed with traffic (for 3 hours a day), salmon will have
fewer predators lurking in the pillar's shadows (new bridge has fewer
pillars), the bridge should be earthquake "proof", less stressful for
tugboats and barges, better bike/ped access.

Upon closer inspection none of these reasons actually hold water, and
most of them are going to be made worse with the current plan. By
trying to solve all of these "problems" at once they have created a
project that will be a massive disaster in all regards.

Nearly all interstate traffic uses the I-205 and goes over the Glenn
Jackson Bridge which is rarely backed up. Their concerns with safety
are specious. A decade worth of repairs were just completed 4 years
ago and the I-5 bridge has a much higher safety rating than the
Sellwood Bridge. The environment is going to be fucked by all the
construction. Saying a new bridge will eliminate some salmon predators
to court the "green vote" is absurd. Nothing is earthquake proof. Bike
and pedestrian access is cheap; we dont need to spend billions to make that

By building a huge bridge to accommodate auto traffic we will be
encouraging more auto traffic. Anyone who has traveled around can tell
you what happens when you try and build your way out of congestion.

What is truly sad is that because of induced demand the new bridge
will take longer to cross than the existing bridge. This comes from
the CRC supporter's own research.

The Mega bridge will undoubtedly help stimulate our economy, as most
projects would, but we have bigger fish to fry and there are lots of
better ways to help ease traffic on the bridge.

Let's at least lets build something that makes sense.

reverend phil
bike pornographer

homepage: homepage: http://www.smarterbridge.org/

Developers, developers, developers, developers (best steve Balmer impression) 03.Apr.2009 16:43

Exile portlander_in_exile@yahoo.com

This Bridge is all about sprawl!

any of you remember East Clark County before the I-205 bridge was built? Well, I do. It was farmland. Then the bridge was built "to aleiviate congestion on I-5". They said all the traffic problems on I-5 would magically disappear, if we just built the I-205 Bridge. We were sold on the idea, that we could "build our way past traffic".

It's a load of crap. If this 12 lane monstrosity is built, it will be non-stop suburbs, all the way to Kelso/Longview. Any hopes of building a pedestrian-friendly downtown Vancouver will be gone. Downtown will just be a speedbump on the way into Portland. Hayden Island, will be even more of a ghost town, as it's sliced up even more. Traffic in North Portland, and areas north of the new "almighty-bridge" will get worse.

Right now, the bottleneck at I-5 and the Columbia River, helps keep sprawl in check. the unpleasant commute keeps enough people from wanting to live farther north of Vancouver.

If the I-5 bridge is that bad, tear it down, and put a ferry service back in. perhaps then, Vancouver will come back to life as a real town, and not just a bedroom.