The Interstate Bridge Replacement Project’s executive steering group held its third meeting Wednesday and voted to confirm a proposed membership lineup for the community advisory group, the second of three advisory groups that the bi-state project office intends to rely on for feedback as it develops a potential replacement for the Interstate 5 Bridge.
“We are shifting from first gear into second gear and going into a very public phase of the IBR program,” said Program Administrator Greg Johnson.
The community group includes eight at-large members — four from Oregon and four from Washington — and 23 appointed members who will represent various regional organizations and stakeholder groups. The office received almost 500 applications for the at-large positions, according to project team Communications Manager Lisa Keohokalole Schauer.
Local appointees include Clark College President Karin Edwards, Vancouver NAACP President Jasmine Tolbert, Workforce Southwest Washington CEO Kevin Perkey and Cowlitz Indian Tribe Transportation Director Kim Stube.
Michelle Brewer, vice president of human resources and facilities at ZoomInfo, will represent the Columbia River Economic Development Council, and Jeffery Temple, director of corporate affairs at Fred Meyer, will represent Interstate 205 regional business interests.
On the Oregon side, some of the represented groups include the Portland Business Alliance, the Oregon Trucking Association and the Oregon Environmental Council, although several of the seats are still waiting to be filled by specific appointees.
The executive steering group reached a unanimous consensus vote to approve the community advisory group roster.
The third and final advisory body, the Equity Advisory Group, received 59 applications for its at-large seats and is still in the process of conducting interviews, according to Chief Equity Officer Johnell Bell.
The two new advisory groups are scheduled to hold their first virtual meetings next week, with the equity advisory group scheduled to meet at 5:30 p.m. Monday and the community advisory group scheduled to meet at 4 p.m. Wednesday. Both meetings are open to the public and will be streamed on YouTube.
Johnson and project environmental manager Chris Regan also gave an update on the development of a new purpose and need statement for the project, which will help guide the development of project alternatives to be considered in the environmental evaluation phase.
All three advisory groups will provide input with the goal of completing a draft by late March and a final draft by late May, which would then be presented to the bi-state legislative committee overseeing the project.