Letter: McEnerny-Ogle wrong on tolls

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Three days after being elected, Anne McEnerny-Ogle told the press she favors tolls for an Interstate 5 Bridge replacement.

According to KUOW Ogle said: “The funding for this project has totally changed. Before, a third of that money came from the federal government. That money is gone. We’re going to have to look at alternatives, Oregon a third, Washington a third, a third from tolling.”

In the failed CRC, the federal funds were only paying for the light rail. There was no federal money for the bridge.

Furthermore, of the estimated $3.3 billion in tolls, roughly $2 billion would come from Southwest Washington citizens. Citizens rejected this horrible deal. We were being asked to pay for repairs to Portland’s Steel Bridge, a TriMet maintenance facility in Gresham, and a new TriMet headquarters in downtown Portland.

A better model would be I-205. Federal funds paid over 90 percent — $155 million. Washington paid $4 million; Oregon paid $9.9 million. It is a federal interstate.

The I-5 corridor is congested over 12 hours a day, including 35 bottlenecks in the region. The worst is the Rose Quarter, which Oregon refuses to add new through lanes to improve traffic congestion and freight mobility.

We need new transportation corridors; more bridges across the Columbia. I-5 needs more through lanes on the Oregon side.