Oregon has provided $9 million toward operating an office to replace the Interstate 5 Bridge.
The Oregon Transportation Commission, meeting Friday in Ashland, Ore., increased a proposed $5 million contribution to underscore the project’s importance and to come closer to the Washington Legislature’s $35 million contribution earlier this year.
“I just want to make sure we are sending a message of interest and moving forward on this,” said Bob Van Brocklin, vice chairman of the five-member commission. “And not just a message to our partner state, but a message to our citizenry that we recognize this a major piece, a major element, of congestion relief.”
The 2019 Washington Legislature allocated $17.5 million for a project office and $17.5 million for planning and pre-design of a new bridge.
Friday’s decision is another indication that both states are ramping up their efforts to replace the aging bridge, which consists of two spans that opened in 1917 and 1958.