CRC on KBOO Today

Locus Focus February 15: What the Heck is a Green Bridge?

KBOO’s February 15th Locus Focus Program will focus on what to do with the controversial Columbia River Crossing Project. Guests include Metro Councilor Robert Liberty, Portland Mayor Sam Adams, and Vancouver’s new mayor Mike Leavitt, all leaders who have spoken out against the 12-lane mega-bridge proposal.

Tune into Locus Focus this Monday, February 15, at 10:15 AM on KBOO-FM community radio 90.7; 91.9 Hood River; 100.7 Corvallis. And if you can’t listen then, or if you live outside of KBOO’s broadcast area, you can catch a podcast of the show anytime at You can also listen on your computer anywhere in the world to our live stream at

4 responses to “CRC on KBOO Today”

  1. What is a green bridge? It is a new bridge for high-speed rail, not an obscenely expensive replacement of two structurally sound freeway bridges.

    By 2012, $590 million of federal stimulus funds will have been spent upgrading the BNSF rail corridor between Seattle and Vancouver WA. The upgrades include new safety improvements and passenger train bypasses around congested track areas, in order to allow Amtrak to run safer, faster, more reliable and frequent service.

    Unfortunately, the freight train bottleneck at the old Columbia River rail-bridge and North Portland Junction will so seriously delay these trains at the river crossing that any time gained in Washington, will be lost in Oregon, with passenger trains waiting for bridge openings and mile-long freight trains to creep through this area.

    Building a new high-level passenger rail bridge and bypass track around this congested area is more likely to obtain federal funding than the freeway project. Furthermore, it would provide the track capacity to initiate local high-speed train service between Union Station and Vancouver allowing commuters, in addition to future light rail, a fast, frequent and reliable alternative to driving.

    It will provide construction jobs sooner than replacing the freeway bridges and should become a top regional and federal priority.

  2. Now that fiscal reality is setting in on the Columbia River Crossing, its time to do what the private sector does when the bank turns down a loan for a poorly thought out idea…look for low cost solutions that address the key problem. Today on the I-5 bridges the problem is too many single occupancy vehicles in the peak hours. The good news is that after the 1997 Interstate Bridge closure, we know what to do to solve the problem. In 1997 congestion virtually disappeared with only one span open due to a massive dose of TDM…Transportation Demand Management.

    Here are a couple of quick, low cost steps that transportation agencies can take this year:

    *Convert the C-Tran 105 Express bus to a Limited service line to the MAX Yellow Line at Delta Park/Vanport, connecting the entire I-5 corridor from Salmon Creek south to the thousands of jobs in north and northeast Portland. Offer reduced price all zone transit passes to Clark county residents who work in Oregon.
    *Re-stripe the HOV lane southbound on I-5 that was originally included in the widening of I-5 north of SR500, but removed several years ago.
    *Offer carpools and vanpools a cash reward, buying down the price of vanpool seats in particular.
    *Upgrade routes and signage for bikes and pedestrians on the Oregonian side of the existing I-5 bridges.
    *Direct through freight traffic to I-205 and the lift-free, earthquake proof Glenn Jackson Bridge.

    The $60 million (and counting) Columbia River Crossing staff are now developing a TDM plan in the event construction on a new bridge ever starts. Let’s implement those plans now, and who knows maybe we can redirect our time, energy and resources to funding expanded educational opportunities…the real driver of 21st century economies. After all, the existing I-5 bridges have plenty of capacity…its the passenger seats of all those commuters driving into Portland alone.

    Member, Governors I-5 Task Force 1999-2002

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