February 8, 2012
Willamette Week: "downsized" CRC is an Optical Illusion
Read their take on the Columbia River Crossing scope in today's issue.
February 8, 2012 5:04 PM
One thing about phased projects: There's no guarantee that anything beyond Phase One gets done. In some ways, this is a big concession, as the things being pushed out into Phase 2 are "highway" items. That doesn't mean I like the project, but when you phase a project, each phase has to withstand scrutiny as an independent project--in particular, earlier phases have to have independent utility such that they are cost-effective even if later phases are cancelled or not funded.
A case in point: The recent redesign of the OR217/I-5 interchange, where a new flyover ramp was constructed so northbound I-5 traffic can proceed onto 217 without going through the loop and signals, has a Phase 2. In Phase 2, a southbound flyover ramp will also be built, so traffic from SB217 to SB5 doesn't have to conflict with traffic coming off of SW 72nd Avenue; also a direct ramp from SB217 to NBI-5 is called for.
Right now, these seem to be off ODOT's drawing board completely. The traffic benefit to these, particularly the SB217-NB5 ramp, is far less than the one that was completed.