The program applied for $750 million from the Bridge Investment Program grant last fall but was passed up. In its application, the program used the high end of preliminary cost estimate of $3.2 billion to $4.8 billion to maximize the opportunity to receive federal funds.
Program officials plan to reapply, in addition to two other federal grants, later this year.
Speakers at the meeting included Program Administrator Greg Johnson and Oregon Department of Transportation Director and former Columbia River Crossing Director Kris Strickler, local leaders like Metro Council President and former Washington State Department of Transportation Secretary of Transportation Lynn Peterson as well as various stakeholder and union representatives.
In March, Oregon lawmakers said they were working to come up with $1 billion to replace the bridge, matching the commitment made by Washington.
After the Columbia River Crossing — the previous attempt to replace the bridge — collapsed in the Washington Legislature in 2013, elected officials in Washington knew they had to make the first move this time around.
Back then, the Columbia River Crossing project’s cost was estimated at $3.4 billion, with the states putting up $450 million each.