We have come to a crossroad in the ongoing saga of building a bridge over the Columbia River. More than $140 million has been spent to bring this project to reality. So here is a plan to restart us on a path to getting a bridge built:
I have always favored a federal model for this bridge. Two good examples of this are Grand Coulee Dam in Washington and Hoover Dam in Nevada. These projects were totally built and financed by the feds. In the case of Columbia River Crossing, the same approach makes sense. We have tried both local and state solutions; it’s obvious that they don’t work.
We need to apply to President Obama through our representatives to convene a task force to take on this project. That means getting the full weight of Obama’s infrastructure program behind this project. I propose a flat $2 toll on every car, truck, bus, or bike on both current bridges to help pay for operating and maintenance costs once we start construction.
We have the manpower, ability, the smarts, and the resources to get the job done, once and for all. The reward for responsible action is a shiny new bridge with light rail, of course.