The Interstate Bridge Replacement Program’s design might not be too different from the community-rejected Columbia River Crossing. It might require tolls. IBR Program acknowledges commute time will only be reduced a few minutes.
Light rail transit and buses are the only transit options studied by the IBR Program, even though rail passengers now cross the Columbia River from Vancouver to Portland in 15 minutes.
A solution to highway tolls while addressing climate change is to add electric passenger trains to the private rail corridors from Ridgefield and Camas. The rail corridor from Battle Ground to Vancouver is owned by Clark County and would take less taxpayer money to develop. Europe has found rail travel is very energy-efficient and environmentally friendly. Electric passenger rail service needs to be studied by the Interstate Bridge Replacement Program as an alternative to the original CRC design. Rail development on the three rail corridors as a replacement to the I-5 Bridge would prevent Clark County from becoming highway dependent like Orange County, Calif.