Now that the Columbia River Crossing has miserably failed to address navigational clearance needs required by the Coast Guard, perhaps it’s time to dust off some of the sensible and economical solutions that were proposed, and then rejected, by CRC and their consultants with unsubstantiated reasoning.
One practical option would increase the existing bridge’s through-lane capacity in each direction by eliminating the bottlenecks caused by the close proximity of bridge approach ramps. These ramps would be replaced with a new bridge adjacent to the existing bridges for local traffic, transit and a lane for southbound state Highway 14 traffic. This proposal also included a local access bridge between Expo Road and Hayden Island for vehicles and light rail, identical to the one now being proposed as “Concept D.”
This concept was later “developed” by an independent consultant after a 22-lane swath of pavement proposed for Hayden Island was strongly objected to by Hayden Island residents. In this option, drawbridge openings would be reduced to an insignificant number by fixing the downstream railroad bridge as illustrated in the video “A Common Sense Alternative to the CRC” at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sPB1jtmHVkk.
Just because $140 million has been spent on a faulty concept that won’t work doesn’t mean there isn’t one that will work.