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News / Business / Clark County Business

Port of Vancouver approves resolution calling for I-5 Bridge replacement

Commissioner Oliver votes no, citing call for transit

By Dameon Pesanti, Columbian staff writer
Published: September 12, 2018, 6:02am

The Port of Vancouver approved a resolution supporting the replacement of the Interstate 5 Bridge on Tuesday.

The resolution calls for Gov. Jay Inslee and the state Legislature to “provide adequate funding to the Washington State Department of Transportation to materially advance project development” for a replacement bridge.

The resolution was approved 2-1. Commissioners Eric LaBrant and Don Orange voted yes. Commissioner Jerry Oliver voted no.

Oliver cited the resolution’s statement of support of a “high-capacity transit with a dedicated guideway,” which he worried leaves open the possibility of light rail, as reason for voting against it.

Oliver said he was supportive of bus rapid transit and replacing the bridge, but he said he felt the dedicated guideway language was too open ended.

Commissioners Orange and LaBrant replied that the commission shouldn’t focus on the details of the project, but focus on moving a project forward.

The resolution was drafted jointly by the ports of Vancouver, Camas-Washougal and Ridgefield. Vancouver and Camas-Washougal have approved the resolution. Ridgefield is expected to vote on it tonight.

The resolution cites the congestion that occurs in the corridor around the bridge, the lack of high-capacity transit and the high number of crashes, among other issues.

The resolution also states the three ports support a multimodal approach to the replacement.

The city of Vancouver passed a similar resolution in August. Vancouver Mayor Anne McEnerny-Ogle asked the port to pass one, as well.

The Southwest Washington Regional Transportation Council also plans to vote on a resolution about the bridge at its next monthly meeting.

Last year, the three ports also passed a resolution supporting the designation of the I-5 Bridge replacement as a project of statewide significance.

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Columbian staff writer