Letter: CRC offers best solution



The Columbia River Crossing project has been in planning for 10-plus years. It took that long to evaluate and agree upon multiple jurisdictional needs. It is now a reasonably affordable, environmentally effective, and functional 100-year transportation design.

Large interstate transportation projects come along about 50 years and require involvement from diverse governmental groups, e.g. Federal highway/waterway administrations; multiple departments of transportation and transit agencies; local and regional government councils; and federal and state legislatures. Also involved are major business/service organizations, e.g. manufacturing and business organizations; ports, shipping, rail, trucking and automobile organizations; hospitals and emergency services; and labor unions and construction contractors. For 10 years these entities, including citizens, have provided their input to the current CRC design.

Unfortunately, belief in the CRC benefits seems to be a problem for a minority of apparent Johnny-come-latelies to the CRC process. Years after decisions were made, they are now refusing to pay the projected costs. Too many are concerned about the first 10 years when in actuality the real benefits will be gained in the following 90 years. By failing to meet today’s funding time line, we will lose five-plus years, and likely end up with the same complaints by the same short-sighted minority.

Harry Smith