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News / Clark County News

LIVE BLOG: Governors’ bridge decision

By Marissa Harshman, Columbian Health Reporter
Published: April 25, 2011, 12:00am

10:43 a.m.: Gregoire and Kitzhaber have ended the press conference.

10:41 a.m.: Gregoire: “It’s time for us in the Pacific Northwest, as green as we are, to be an example for the rest of the country.” This multi-modal bridge will make both states environmental leaders in the country.

10:35 a.m.: Gregoire: “Today is the day after 10 years, ladies and gentlemen, to make a decision.”

10:30 a.m.: Kitzhaber: Both governors will work with federal partners to complete the record of decision by the end of the year.

10:28 a.m.: Kitzhaber: Both state treasurers have been directed to work with bond experts to conduct an independent financial review of the project. The review will take place later this year.

10:26 a.m.: Kitzhaber said the project team has been directed to immediately engage bridge architects and designers.

10:24 a.m.: Kitzhaber said the cable-stayed bridge type was his preference based on aesthetics but required additional design and review work, which would mean more money and time.

10:22 a.m.: Kitzhaber said he gives his full support for the project and the selection. “I believe it’s time to move forward.”

10:20 a.m.: Gregoire: “The time for the Columbia River Crossing is now, not in the future.”

10:18 a.m.: Gregoire said the composite deck truss is the most affordable option for taxpayers, keeps the project on track which is important for securing federal funding and minimizes the environmental impact.

10:17 a.m.: Gregoire announced the chosen design is the composite deck truss.

10:15 a.m.: Gregoire: “We need a better bridge for the people of Oregon and Washington.”

10:13 a.m.: Gregoire said the Columbia River Crossing is “vital to the success” of both states.

10:10 a.m.: Gregoire has arrived. Gregoire and Kitzhaber are heading to the podium.

10:06 a.m.: Portland Mayor Sam Adams has arrived. Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire is running late due to the weather. She should arrive in five minutes.

10:05 a.m.: The press conference is about to begin.

9:57 a.m.: Vancouver Mayor Tim Leavitt has arrived. Philanthropist Ed Lynch is in attendance as well.

9:50 a.m.: Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber has arrived.

9:45 a.m.: Local elected officials and other attendees are mingling as they wait for the press conference to begin. Among the elected officials are: Clark County Commissioner Steve Stuart; Vancouver Councilors Jack Burkman and Jeanne Harris; State Rep. Jim Moeller; Vancouver Port Commissioner Brian Wolfe; former Mayor Royce Pollard.

9:40 a.m.: The press conference was scheduled to take place on the dock behind the Red Lion Hotel on the River, but this morning’s heavy rains moved the event indoors.

Govs. Chris Gregoire and John Kitzhaber are set to announce the winning design for the Columbia River Crossing project this morning.

The two governors will hold a joint press conference at 10 a.m. on Hayden Island.

Three bridge designs have been under consideration: A flat-deck style bridge, which would be the least expensive and least attractive; a cable-stayed span which would cost more and be taller, but more attractive; and a tied arch bridge that would be the most costly.

Previously the governors had ordered planners to discontinue work on an open-box girder bridge which would have been the most costly.

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Check back here for updates during the press conference.

The complete story will appear in Tuesday’s Columbian.

Columbian Health Reporter