With the release of the Final Environmental Impact Statement, the Columbia River Crossing project is now on a count down to the “Record of Decision,” the formal conclusion of the planning process before moving into funding and implementation. A 30-day comment period will commence on or about September 23rd. After the comment period the Record of Decision will be issued.
The project is holding several “drop-in sessions” (Oct 12 and 13) during the comment period.
The Record of Decision marks the point at which lawsuits can be filed under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the legislation that has controlled the process to date. There are a number of grounds under which the decision can be challenged, but look for a lot of focus on whether a sufficient set of alternatives was analyzed.
Appeals under Oregon land use law are probably already in the works, triggered by Metro’s “Land Use Final Order” approved a few weeks ago.
And of course, there’s still the question of whether anyone will actually step up to fund this thing. The Oregon and Washington Legislatures just got the bad news that the $150M they’ve already paid toward planning this project will not count against the $450M each state will be required to come up with…
Ever optimistic, the project is recruiting a Citizens Advisory Committee to provide liaison on contining development and construction.