The Columbia River Crossing in its current form is dead (maybe). What happens now? The 2015 Legislative Session has been touted to be the next opportunity for a big transportation package. What might that look like absent the CRC? Here are a few possibilities:
- An urban transportation agenda. Mayor Hales has suggested that perhaps now the conversation could shift to the “orphan highways” – ODOT facilities in our cities (Powell, Barbur, Sandy and 82nd for example in Portland). These should be transferred to city ownership and management, but someone needs to pay to upgrade them to current standards.
- The NE Quadrant/Rose Quarter “safety” project. A $400M freeway widening in the name of safety. But one that unlocks a lot of good land use policy in the process, so the City of Portland might get behind it.
- The beginnings of the “common sense alternatives” to the CRC, including potentially rebuilding the Marine Drive Interchange to provide Hayden Island access from that interchange, solving a lot of problems with the current ramps on the island.
- Nothing at all. After all, the $450M in bonding that the Legislature promised for the CRC didn’t actually have a repayment source identified.
What do you think? What do you hope for?