CRC receives $5M in design grants

Work on new I-5 Bridge scheduled to start in 2013

By Andrea Damewood, Columbian staff writer

Published:

 

The Columbia River Crossing will receive two grants totaling $5 million for the next phase of the project’s design, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced Wednesday.

The award was the full amount of money the project asked for and shows the Interstate 5 bridge, interchange and light rail project is a top contender for federal funding, CRC spokeswoman Anne Pressentin said.

“It does show that we’re going to compete well for the available federal money,” she said. “We do have a project of national significance here. It’s a project that is going to be addressing some real safety and congestion issues that folks in Vancouver experience every single day.”

The Federal Highway Administration invited states to apply in June for federal funding from 14 grant programs, she said. In response, it got more than 1,800 requests, asking for nearly $13 billion, or more than 30 times the available funds.

The Interstate Maintenance Discretionary program gave a $2 million grant to the Washington State Department of Transportation and a $3 million grant to the Oregon Department of Transportation for the CRC. The grants apply for fiscal year 2011.

A total of $100 million was awarded nationwide under the discretionary program and priority was given to projects with high traffic volumes in urban areas.

The project is currently at about 15 percent total design completion. The plan is to submit a Final Environmental Impact Statement to the federal highway and transit administrations this fall, and receive its blessing to begin construction. Construction is slated to begin in 2013.

Andrea Damewood: 360-735-4542 or andrea.damewood@columbian.com or www.facebook.com/reporterdamewood or www.twitter.com/col_cityhall.