CRC Project Sponsors Council Ready to Slip its Leash?

August 9th is the last scheduled meeting of the Columbia River Crossing project “Sponsors Council”, the group of local elected and agency officials that has been about the only check on this project. In the view of the project, the Council has served its purpose and is finished.

Indeed, I’m told the project has gone so far as to stop reimbursing the local jurisdictions for the time their staff is spending working on the Crossing.

But the Council doesn’t agree. A consensus in the Council seems to be emerging that some kind of “Mobility Management” governance structure is going to be needed to manage performance of the bridge over its life – and that’s too important to the local communities to leave to the DOTs.

It’s hard to be a member of a group that is staffed by entity that doesn’t believe the group needs to exist! So perhaps it’s time for the Project Sponsor’s Council to separate from the CRC project itself and form its own mission and staffing? That would certainly change some of the project dynamics, in a very good way, I think.

By the way, there’s another public input opportunity prior to the Project Sponsors Council Meeting:

PORTLAND – The Columbia River Crossing Project Sponsors Council encourages testimony Thursday, Aug. 5, at a public meeting on draft recommendations related to several project elements, including the Hayden Island interchange and I-5 bridge.

Residents, businesses and interested community members are invited to attend the meeting to learn about the draft recommendations and provide input directly to PSC co-chair Steve Horenstein. The recommendations are the result of assignments from the PSC to the Integrated Project Sponsors Council Staff (IPS) group to collaboratively address several questions. Meeting topics include project performance measures, techniques to manage traffic after construction, transportation and land-use modeling, the number of I-5 bridge lanes, and the latest design concept for the Hayden Island interchange.

Earlier Hayden Island interchange concepts were presented to island residents and stakeholders at two public meetings in June. The concepts have continued to evolve as a result of stakeholder input and the latest concept will be discussed Aug. 5.

After a brief presentation, attendees can share their opinions about the draft recommendations. Comments can be given verbally, in writing or online.

Public Meeting

Thursday, Aug. 5, 2010

5 to 8 p.m. (Presentation at 6 p.m.; public testimony to follow)

Jantzen Beach SuperCenter, Community Room (Across from the food court.)

1405 Jantzen Beach Center, Portland

Comments received will help inform PSC members as they discuss the recommendations at their Aug. 9 meeting.

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