Quoted in Willamette Week:
State lawmakers’ flagging interest in increasing the gas tax next year is driving a hole in a proposed funding plan for the $4.2 billion Columbia River Crossing Project (see “Bridge Over the River Why,” WW, May 21, 2008). A proposed 14-cent-per-gallon gas tax hike had set aside 2 cents for the new bridge across the Columbia. But Rick Metsger (D-Welches), Senate Transportation Committee chairman, says, “We will not have a package that includes CRC funding.” In addition to higher pump prices, urban-rural tensions auger poorly for the project. “Why would you want to poison the statewide tax for a couple of pennies for CRC?” Metsger says.