Current, former Vancouver mayors urge support for CRC

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Vancouver mayors' letter on CRC

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Vancouver Mayor Tim Leavitt and two of his predecessors this week urged state lawmakers to support the Columbia River Crossing.

In a letter dated April 16, Leavitt and former mayors Royce Pollard and Bruce Hagensen called the proposed Interstate 5 Bridge replacement an “essential component” of the city’s development and future. It specifically cited the Vancouver City Center Vision plan, passed in 2007.

“This community has been planning for decades on how we develop wisely, effectively and efficiently,” the letter read. “Access to an improved I-5 corridor/Columbia River Crossing is an essential component.”

The letter was sent to members of the Washington state Senate and House transportation committees. Project backers are pushing for lawmakers to approve $450 million in funding they say is needed to keep the project on track. Oregon lawmakers authorized an identical amount earlier this year.

The $3.4 billion CRC would replace the I-5 Bridge, rebuild freeway interchanges in Washington and Oregon, and extend light rail into Vancouver. Project officials hope to begin construction in late 2014.