Oregon governor hopeful opposes new I-5 bridge

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PORTLAND — Central Point Republican state Rep. Dennis Richardson says he no longer supports the Columbia River Crossing project.

The Oregonian reports Richardson supported a bill in the last legislative session to authorize Oregon to put up to $450 million into the $3.4 billion project. But without Washington also putting in $450 million, he says Oregon taxpayers are taking too much risk.

Richardson, who is running for governor, said in his legislative newsletter Monday the region could have replaced the Interstate 5 bridge over the Columbia River years ago if officials hadn't included light rail as part of the project.

Gov. John Kitzhaber is considering calling legislators back for a special session to approve a $2.8 billion bridge project without the improvements planned or the Washington side of the river.