In defense of the Columbia River Crossing’s colossal gaffe regarding bridge height, Anne McEnerny-Ogle, in her March 10 letter, “Bridge height homework was done,” almost proves her point with a quote from the May 2008 CRC Draft EIS which states that “vertical clearances of less than 90 feet” will be sufficient — that is, if you completely ignore the first part of her quote, which is apparently what was done by the entire body of people associated with the Crossing project. The first line of the quote states, “With the exception of some specialized vessels that use the river infrequently.”
What were bridge planners thinking? That those infrequent specialized vessels should no longer be allowed to navigate above the Interstate 5 Bridge?
As for her claim that the Coast Guard was consulted regarding the current bridge height, McEnerny-Ogle doesn’t reference a document that originated with the Coast Guard, only third-party consultants’ statements, where the Coast Guard is quoted as stating (in 2004) that navigation conditions cannot “become worse” than they currently are. Even I can understand that simple statement.
The CRC’s error is inexcusable. The millions we’ve paid for inadequate studies should be refunded, and current CRC members should be replaced.