Letter: Not too late for alternative designs



It’s time to rethink plans for the Columbia River Crossing. The flaw from the beginning was to study only an area within one-half mile of the Interstate 5 Bridge.

Building a higher cable-stay bridge downstream near the railroad bridge would allow 144-foot-high ship traffic, like at the Interstate 205 bridge. This bridge and a five-stage construction plan would save $1.8 billion. Plus, tolls would not be necessary on I-5. Refer to a six-minute video presentation at http://vimeo.com/22915646.

Downstream bridges on the Columbia should be no less than the I-205 Glenn Jackson Bridge. Vancouver’s Thompson Metal Fab is not the only operation affected by a low bridge. Plans are now to move the USS Ranger aircraft carrier to Fairview, Ore., for a floating museum and emergency response hospital ship. The USS Ranger is taller than 95 feet. I envision cruise ships coming from Seattle or San Diego passing under I-5. The present CRC plan for a 95-foot-high bridge limits the future of our Columbia River area.

Studies show that it could cost $200 million for seismic upgrades to the current I-5 bridge. To remove that bridge would cost about the same. Why remove a working bridge in order to pay tolls?

The current CRC plan fails when there is a common-sense alternative.

David L. Rowe