CRC Tolling Analysis Released

ODOT has released the investment-grade analysis of toll revenue for the Columbia River Crossing (PDF) and has concluded that the revenue is sufficient to fund the project (surprise) if tolling begins in 2016.

We hope to have a critique from Joe Cortright shortly.

11 responses to “CRC Tolling Analysis Released”

  1. It has been a whole six years since the”investment grade analysis” that labelled high risk loans as low risk loans sparked a recession. So, no worries, Doug. I am sure the folks with the six figure bonuses have really changed in their hearts, so that we can accept their integrity without further investigation.

  2. “forecasts of revenue by WSA as it then was (just recently merged to form CDMSmith) are on average… 127% too high – as compared with subsequently realized toll revenues… WSA has made many very large errors in its forecasts that have been costly to investors, bondholders, governments, and toll road users who have relied on them to approve construction of major toll road projects.”

  3. I’m sorry, but no analysis can be considered “investment grade” unless it is commissioned by (and paid for) by potential investors.

    The term for analysis paid for by the sellers of a security is a “prospectus”.

    And it still contains predictions of significant traffic growth in the next 20 years.

  4. So, I’ve already found two errors in this report, both on page 6-2:

    1) The tolls listed for passenger vehicles to cross Bay Area Toll Authority bridges range from $2.50 to $3. The actual toll on all Bay Area bridges is now $5.00 ($6 during the peak period on the Bay Bridge) and has been since 2012 (
    2) The toll listed for the Golden Gate Bridge is $2.50 The actual toll for passenger vehicles is $6 (

    When did they write this thing!?! The note at the bottom of 6-2 says “Toll Rates are current as of December 4, 2013.” — but that’s just not the case.

    If they can’t get this very basic bit of background research right, you gotta wonder…

    • Tolls on the Bay Area bridges are only collected in one direction (generally entering SF or leaving Oakland, a state of affairs that somewhat annoys Oaklanders); it might be possible that the figures are being divided by two in order to treat it as an each-direction fare.

  5. I was somewhat gratified to learn that toll amounts have been reduced to $2.50 weekdays and $2.00 on weekends. This amount is competitive with taking transit instead of driving.

    I have a little difficulty understanding how “people without accounts” will pay a much higher toll. My sense of fairness leads me to believe that only metropolitan area residents (or residents of Oregon and that other state just north of Oregon’s border, WARshington?) should pay a toll, nevermind how out-of-state motorists passing through would pay the toll.

  6. Perhaps Clark County, by opposing the CRC and legalized marijuana, is being a bit short-sighted here. Surely there is revenue potential for both, if they just joined Oregon and came up with the right marketing plan.

    I hereby propose: CRC – Cannabis Recreation Crossing.

    Or, in a nod to history, the Great Light Way.

  7. This morning’s Oregonian article highlights how traffic would shift to the 205 bridge:

    Tolling would cut 15,000 of trips a day from current I-5 levels by 2036. It would seem that tolling alone would solve the congestion problem over I-5. It might also cause a congestion problem on I-205.

    Clearly, drivers don’t want to pay to cross the river, and are willing to drive further to avoid that cost.

  8. Back to some basic data: SOVs are the obstacle to moving freight in the peaks. 1/3 of the trips on I-5 are local (and would not even be on a freeway if there was an option.)

    What is missing here? Better alternatives to driving alone…i.e. a dedicated transit ROW and good bike/ped path, and an alternative to the Interstate freeway for local trips…i.e a frontage road on a bridge.

    Combine these three needs on a single new bridge, do a seismic retrofit on the existing bridges, close the Hayden Island ramps, and rebuild the RR bridge with a lift span to line up with the hump and pay for it with a toll on I-5 starting tomorrow…in the form of a $5 “Welcome to Oregon” fee.

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