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The following is presented as part of The Columbian’s Opinion content, which offers a point of view in order to provoke thought and debate of civic issues. Opinions represent the viewpoint of the author. Unsigned editorials represent the consensus opinion of The Columbian’s editorial board, which operates independently of the news department.

Letter: Consider options other than bridge

By Dave Rowe, Battle Ground
Published: March 9, 2024, 6:00am

Vancouver, British Columbia, is building an immersed tube tunnel under the Fraser River called the Highway 99 Tunnel. The Fraser River crossing project is comparable to the Interstate Bridge Replacement Program in scope and size. Yet it will cost about half the cost at $4 billon and be completed by 2030. Plus, no tolls will be required.

Clark County residents do not want a large bridge impacting the beautiful view of Vancouver’s waterfront. With the help of several engineers, I built a scale model for a concept of an immersed tube tunnel under the Columbia River, which is on display at Wallis Engineering on Fourth Street.

MAX light rail is added to the Interstate Bridge Replacement proposal. MAX riders would ride from Vancouver to downtown Portland in 35 minutes — about the same travel time as C-Tran commuter buses now. A better transit option is regional passenger rail transit. Cars would use the existing tracks that Amtrak uses for a 15-minute ride from Vancouver to downtown Portland. There are existing tracks to Battle Ground also. Regional rail passengers could ride from Battle Ground to Portland in about 30 minutes.

The IBR (CRC) program has promised for 15 years to look at all options, but it has not.

We encourage readers to express their views about public issues. Letters to the editor are subject to editing for brevity and clarity. Limit letters to 200 words (100 words if endorsing or opposing a political candidate or ballot measure) and allow 30 days between submissions. Send Us a Letter