Letter: Go under, not over, the Columbia



To bridge or not to bridge. Is the bridge too high, not high enough, not pretty enough? Have we explored all the possibilities?

In 1955, Baltimore faced a similar problem — with a beautiful bay and inner harbor area. No one wanted to take away the view of the harbor with an ugly bridge, or destroy the local industry by a bridge not tall enough. The answer was a tunnel, but not a real tunnel. They came up with a great design that many know as the tubes.

The tubes were made on land and then barged to the position and sunk and assembled in the river. There were a total of 21 tubes made and sunk. The tubes ran over 7,500 feet, almost 3,000 feet farther than the Interstate 5 Bridge. The tubes carry thousands of cars safely across the bay daily without disturbance of leisure nor industrial shipping. The great view was kept intact and the toll today is still only $3.

This sort of crossing would have a minimal effect on the current interchanges as raising I-5 would not be needed, there would be minimal effect on existing businesses and, lastly, a minimal effect on traffic during construction.

Scott Dalesandro