Letter: Lift span not sufficient for future
Thursday, May 24, 2012
In response to Jim Howell's May 17 letter, "Drawbridge is affordable choice," the contention that the Interstate 5 Bridge should remain a lift span is ludicrous. Traffic backs up for miles every time the bridge is lifted and any form of movable bridge violates Federal Highway Administration standards for the Interstate Highway System. Interstate 5 is listed on a published list of gaps in the system -- the only gap on the entire 1,381-mile route is our good old Columbia River Crossing.
While it is true that adding a swing section or lift span to the railroad bridge that is more in line with the high section of the interstate could eliminate some lifts, it would not eliminate enough. Last Sunday, I and hundreds of others had to wait for a pleasure-seeking sailboater to pass through. The bridge is seismically deficient, it is under capacity, it does not allow for sufficient alternative or mass transit, it does not have breakdown lanes and it has a lift span -- it needs to be replaced.
Good infrastructure is one of the hallmarks of a great society. The fact that today we essentially refuse to build any new infrastructure or even maintain what we have does not bode well for our future.