Coast Guard: planned Columbia River bridge too low

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VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) -- The Coast Guard says the planned new Portland-Vancouver Interstate 5 bridge would be too low for Columbia River ship traffic.

The Coast Guard official responsible for issuing a bridge permit, Randall Overton in Seattle, said this week that 95 feet of clearance won't meet the needs of current and future commerce.

The Columbian reports (http://is.gd/JF7dTe ) adding height could add up to $150 million to the $3.5 billion project.

Columbia River Crossing Director Nancy Boyd says the news from the Coast Guard comes as a surprise. She says the staff thought it had an agreement that 95 feet would be acceptable.

A Vancouver company that barges oil rigs to Alaska and Asia, Thompson Metal Fab, says it needs at least a 125-foot clearance.

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Information from: The Columbian, http://www.columbian.com