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.