As predictable as traffic jams heading onto the Interstate 5 Bridge, state legislators are back in Olympia talking about Columbia River crossing options. And like other unchanging, interminable cycles, so returns talk of a tunnel solution to the river crossing problem.
Why do we not burrow beneath the Columbia River to solve our metropolitan-area traffic woes, rather than build a bridge above?
The tunnel option was explored, most recently, in the early days of the ill-fated Columbia River Crossing project.
All indications are it was not a long conversation.
“Tunnels are options that kind of get people from point A to point B,” said Kris Strickler, the highway division administrator at the Oregon Department of Transportation. Strickler was the Columbia River Crossing project’s deputy director.
“It just didn’t do as well as any of the options that were being looked at that were bridge-related.”