Public weighs in on I-5 bridge design



Washington and Oregon transportation officials collected plenty of public sentiment Thursday on their preference for the design of a new Interstate 5 bridge across the Columbia River.

A crowd of about 100 people gathered at Portland’s Expo Center for the first of a pair of two-hour listening sessions, followed by an evening session that drew a smaller crowd to the Washington Department of Transportation’s regional office in Vancouver.

Vancouver attorney Stephen Horenstein and Portland attorney Henry Hewitt, co-chairmen of the CRC Project Sponsors Council, hosted both listening sessions.

Comments also can be submitted online at columbiariver, or by mail at 700 Washington St., Suite 300, Vancouver, WA 98660.

Comments will be taken through Sunday.

Govs. Chris Gregoire and John Kitzhaber agreed with a bridge expert review panel’s recommendation last month to kill the previous open-web box girder design because of its high cost and questionable durability.

The states are continuing to collect public input on three alternatives put forward by the expert panel: cable-stayed, tied-arch and the composite deck truss design preferred by the two state transportation departments. The state transportation agencies will make a final recommendation to the two governors by next week.

The governors will then make a decision.