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Friday, December 8, 2023
Dec. 8, 2023

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Letter: Now is not the time for a new bridge

The Columbian

I believe that the new Interstate 5 bridge would be a waste of money. In economic times like these, a “wish list” of material things should not be our first priority. The new bridge with light rail and bicycle and pedestrian improvements is projected to cost up to $3.6 billion. Compare that to the $234 million spent on the I-35W bridge over the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, Minn., after the collapse of the first bridge. They got that bridge built in just 47 weeks. They wasted no time or money; they just got to the basic need. The new I-35W bridge has proven to be strong and safe, even beautiful in design. It even has built-in sensors that track any unusual bending and also keeps track of the bridge’s health, as well as an anti-icing system.

Cutting out costs for unneeded perks on the I-5 bridge will benefit us in the long run. We can’t afford to spend billions of dollars with an economy like it is now. There are more important things than a 10-lane bridge. If it meant that more spending would go toward our school districts and other important programs, I would be happy to sit in traffic a little every day.

Leah M. Williamson

Battle Ground

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