Could the Legislature be the Bridge Too Far for the CRC?

I’m hopeful that a bi-partisan group of House members is asking smart questions about the Columbia River Crossing.

4 responses to “Could the Legislature be the Bridge Too Far for the CRC?”

  1. The traffic projections are an interesting one. The CRC group could point to the recession as a reason for not hitting the projections, but Amtrak Cascades has seen ridership increases during the same period. Perhaps they are expecting some induced demand for the CRC?

  2. Traffic volume declined during the peak of the bubble with $4 plus gas. So boom or bust, trips over I-5 are down. re state funding, ODOT will have a lot less money in the coming years. Let’s see how many legislators will line up behind a 20 cent gas tax increase to pay for the CRC.

  3. What’s interesting here is that the legislature is NOT being asked to fund the CRC, just to send a symbolic “memorial” to congress asking them for funding. Yet ODOT projects starting construction in 2013, which means that Oregon’s share, $450 million, should be in the budget for the next biennium. It seems that ODOT plans to use the memorial as their go-ahead to appropriate the money without a substantive vote from the legislature. Some legislators seem to see this coming. At Monday’s hearing on HJM 22, ODOT Director Matthew Garrett was asked when the legislature would have an opportunity to debate the merits of the CRC. He didn’t have an answer.

  4. Well, if the rail projects in Wisconsin, Ohio, and Florida are any indication, we could always get the federal funds and then cancel the project at the last minute because it would “cost the taxpayers too much”.

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