The cost of $3.5 billion as presented by the Columbia River Crossing is in error, in my opinion; other experts estimate it is $5.5 billion. The CRC is expecting a large amount of the federal Department of Transportation budget for like projects (other projects are filing requests for money from the same pot). The states of Oregon and Washington are still attempting to figure out what their bottom line will be, though $450 million was spoken of from each state.
The cost of current bridge removal is a big consideration. The CRC officials seem to think tolls will handle the large unfunded portion.
Hundreds of jobs could be affected by mitigation of upriver companies if the CRC decides to cap of the bridge height at 116 feet.
Any person with a mind watching the televised presentations can only ask the question, “Why?” So little to show for the effort, and what we see is a scary picture.
If I have to pony up a large amount for a toll to drive to Portland, I will likely change my driving to eliminate trips into Portland, leaving the money for just trips through the state to somewhere south.
When it comes to tolls, we need only to look to Seattle and observe that tolls are not paying the bills like it was hoped.
John M. Larson