Letter: Move light rail to railroad bridge
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Is Vancouver ready for light rail at this time? Do we have the critical mass (population) to justify it? Is the Columbia River Crossing bridge the best location for the light rail crossing?
The current bridge spans need to be replaced with bridges with wide emergency shoulders, extra lanes, and seismically designed support piers.
The old bridges are worn out and won't survive a large earthquake.
It's been noted that the planned bridge clearance is to be no higher than 110 feet, which impacts local businesses and jobs. Also planned is an extension of the Portland Folly (light rail) into Vancouver.
I propose that the designers look at modernizing the 104-year-old railroad bridge for the light rail crossing. Widen the railroad bridge with additional tracks for additional trains and add light rail tracks alongside them. Install a longer lift span to the railroad bridge similar to the lift span across the Willamette River.
Moving the light rail crossing downriver would eliminate the lower decks on the planned CRC bridges, increasing river clearance. Then raise the bridge a little more to provide plenty of clearance for the future.
Keep jobs and companies in Vancouver.
Also, this could cause fewer relocation problems in downtown Vancouver.