CRC staff is out shopping the new slimmer version of the Columbia River Crossing, now with only 10 lanes (no word on the exact lane configuration, but apparently it can be re-striped to 12 lanes later) and a few less interchanges – and an uglier design across Hayden Island.
Here’s the full list:
- Eliminating a dedicated ramp (braid) to access Victory Boulevard from I-5 southbound
- Eliminating an elevated ramp (flyover) across I-5 as part of the Marine Drive interchange
- Reusing the existing highway bridges over North Portland Harbor
- Eliminating elevated structures over Hayden Island and lowering the profile of the interstate
- Reducing the width of the I-5 bridge to accommodate 10 traffic lanes instead of 12
- Removing one planned highway lane between SR 14 and SR 500
- Eliminating the ramps to I-5 northbound from SR 500 and from I-5 southbound to SR 500
All of this saves $650M. The package will be presented to the Project Sponsors Council on December 4th.
According to a presentation staff has been showing to local business groups the latest back of the napkin financial plan looks like:
$800M in Federal New Starts Transit Funding
$400M in Federal Highway Funds
$1.3B from tolling
The balance of the total cost of the project which is now estimated in a range from $2.6B to $3.6B would presumably be up to the two state governments to cough up.
The Oregonian Editorial Board is buying it.
So Washington and Oregon somehow need to find somewhere between a half and one and half billion dollars to do this.
Isn’t that enough of an incentive to go back to the DEIS and do some real least-cost planning?