At the CRC Alternatives Review


The panel reviews the alternatives developed by the community.


The audience was a Who’s Who of progressive/alternative transportation thinkers, including a number of Portland Transport readers.

I spent last night at the Columbia River Crossing alternatives panel organized by Metro Councilor Robert Liberty.

A large majority of the 14 presentations submitted by the community were supplemental bridge proposals, often coupled with additional investments like fixing the railroad bridge (to avoid the barge S-curve maneuver) or seismic upgrades to the existing bridge structures.

Among the comments by the review panel:

  • These proposals represent 21st century thinking compared to the 20th century thinking of the project proposal
  • Proposals that could be phased were appreciated, they don’t “put all the eggs in one basket”
  • The submissions represented “$2M worth of alternatives analysis”
  • With regard to retaining the existing structures: “you almost get a free bridge” (because of the avoided demolition costs)
  • There is a “dance of traffic between Portland and Vancouver” and we need to figure out a bridge configuration to support that complex dance
  • Start tolling now so we can build this project on a “Pay-Go” basis
  • The project needs to be balanced for “fiscal equity” with other investments around the region

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