Letter: Gap in cost increase is puzzling

Published:

 

I am puzzled. The Interstate 205 bridge, which opened in December of 1982 and is a total of 10,580 feet from Oregon to Washington, has a vertical clearance of 144 feet, has four lanes in each direction and cost $169.6 million to build — $155.7 million from federal funds, $4 million from Washington and $9.9 million from Oregon.

Why does an Interstate 5 Bridge crossing that is not even two miles long cost, with estimates between $3.5 billion to $5.5 billion, so much more in this depressed economy? I have not had my income go up that much in that short of time, or any time.

Oregon is laying off police officers, firemen, teachers and government employees to help make ends meet. Portland hasn’t enough money to fix potholes in Multnomah County. I think we should put the new I-5 Bridge on hold until the economy picks up, instead of putting more burden on the people.

Why can’t we, Oregon and Washington, build another bridge like the I-205 bridge, with the same four lanes in each direction for a lot less money? Then we would have eight lanes for traffic to flow instead of the same six lanes we have now. Probably wouldn’t even need to put a toll on it.

James M. Elieff

Vancouver