The proposed Columbia River Crossing is a replacement of the Interstate 5 Bridge. So far $140 million has been spent on studies. A final design has yet to be chosen, but it is expected to cost $3.1 billion to $3.5 billion. As a citizen, taxpayer, and user of the bridge, I deserve better, and so does everyone else. The main issues are height and cost.
The Astoria bridge opened in 1966, cost $24 million (equivalent to $172 million today), has 196 feet of clearance, and had tolls until December 1993.
The Longview bridge opened in 1930, and has 210 feet vertical clearance.
The I-205 bridge opened in December 1982, has 144 feet vertical clearance, and cost less than $170 million ($408 million today) and no tolls were ever used.
Tolls are a nuisance, the proposed costs are exorbitant, and the height they are proposing is lower than all three other bridges, which is just stupid. A much more sensible solution is to build a new bridge where the land costs are incredibly lower, somewhere between Kalama and Vancouver Lake, and connect to U.S. 30 or extend a new interstate passing near Hillsboro and connecting to I-5 near Aurora. Either would eliminate having all through traffic pass through the middle of Portland and reduce congestion markedly.
Peter van Schoonhoven