Updated 7/3/12, 7AM:
Apparently today is the deadline for filing NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) suits for the project. Thompson Metal Fab has joined the party, suing over the height of the bridge.
Looking a recent developments for the Columbia River Crossing:
- The project is suggesting that the recent conference committee compromise on the Federal Transportation Authorization is good news for the project:
Congress has authorized a surface transportation bill that includes continued funding for the Federal Transit Administration New Starts program at current levels, and substantially expands the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan program to $750 million next year and $1 billion in 2014.
The CRC project is seeking construction funding from three major sources: the federal government, the states of Washington and Oregon and tolling the I-5 bridge.
Expansion of the TIFIA program means CRC may compete for a federal loan that will offer more favorable financing terms, thereby allowing the project to better leverage toll revenue. The U.S. Department of Transportation has indicated that the CRC will be a priority for receiving TIFIA support.
- A coalition of local organizations has filed a federal suit challenging the project under environmental laws.