Letter: Not too late for alternative designs
Monday, April 9, 2012
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