CRC Bill Comes Due When?

Oregon and Washington are arguing about how much of the $135M that the Feds want to be repaid will be assigned to each state, and when repayments will begin.

24 responses to “CRC Bill Comes Due When?”

  1. I’m calling to FHWA and ODOT to see if this is final, with no other options. Doesn’t hurt to check. Besides, I don’t have that much on hand.

  2. Here’s hoping this will be a cautionary tale the next time anyone talks about trying to do a mega-highway project.

    For the money they wasted on planning this boondoggle, they probably could have built a couple of components of the common-sense alternative. Say, an arterial/LRT bridge to Hayden Island and maybe a lift span on the railroad bridge.

  3. The CRC project is not dead. Studies completed still apply to a future I-5 bridge replacement. Marine Drive interchange and the Expo-Hayden local road/bridge designs are pretty much shovel ready. Single-deck bridge designs pre-2008 will replace double-deck nonsense. ODOT’s 2010 Concept #1 Off-island Access can/should replace Wsdot’s Concept “D-minus” spagetti ramp death trap access to Hayden Island. To keep costs down, build only the southbound span (5-lanes) with the transit span (3-lanes) along its westside, incidentally acting as emergency access lanes. Leave old bridges in place for northbound traffic.

  4. I wonder if Oregon could:
    (a) build the Hayden Island bridge for local traffic, with light rail
    (b) make it a “federal-aid highway” (there are gobs of local streets which are federal-aid highways)
    (c) count some fraction of the money on CRC planning as having gone towards the planning of said bridge, and then not have to pay that part back.

    • That’s an excellent idea, Nathanael. And in actuality, it’s probably completely legal and even proper. After all, the first step planned was to build the Hayden Island local connector, because building the new bridge will cut off access to the soutbound side ramps, both off and on.

      So. yeah, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see a new six lane bi-directional bridge to Hayden Island from Marine Drive in ODOT’s future (four auto and two LRT).

    • Shouldn’t be that hard to make the bridge a “federal aid highway” — just extend US 99E another half mile onto Hayden Island, and remove the Hayden Island interchange as part of the project.

  5. The first step planned is replacing the Marine Drive Interchange, currently a “pretzel” (half a cloverleaf), a total mess, worst interchange of the lot, bad for trucking, bad for pedestrian crossing. Extending MAX to Jantz Bch requires a route ‘under’ the Marine Drive replacement built about 200′ south of the current interchange and looks like decent engineering to me. These two projects can apply federal funds toward their completion and eventual I-5 bridge replacment, single-deck NOT double-deck, plus ODOT’s 2010 Concept #1 Off-island Access.

    • Wells,

      You can’t do all that in $100 million, which is Oregon’s part of the bill. Just the Hayden Island access will probably cost that much. To get MAX to Jantzen Beach will require some sort of additional Federal aid. I do hope that if they build a new island access bridge ODOT makes it wide enough to accommodate the tracks.

      The delicious thing about all this is the just deserts that Washington has no comparable project to which to charge the bill, since it’s we who torpedoed the project.

      • Oregon is committed to $450 million State funds on the CRC. That’s enough for the new Marine Drive interchange. The existing queue’s are much worse than the new rearrangement, whether you care to admit it or not.

        Before 2008, of the sensible single-deck bridge designs studied, one built the Southbound span (5-lanes), and a transit span alongside (3-lanes forming an emergency access corridor). This bridge option, or some version like it, will be back in a year.

        • Wells,

          The interchange plan as adopted has no separate island access. Instead it uses a complex set of interlaced but completely separated ramps to move traffic between the island and Marine Drive without it ever entering the freeway.

          I really don’t see why the island access roadway could not have the driving lanes west of the MAX lanes and rise up to intersect Marine Drive just west of the MAX bridge. The lights at the two intersections would have to be well-coordinated, but that’s not out of the question with modern engineering.

          Yes, Marine Drive would have to be considerably more elevated than it is now and for a good percentage of the distance to the Expo Center building, but nobody is allowed to access the parking lot there directly from Marine Drive. So there would be no impediment to Expo Center traffic flow.

          You seem to have a particular configuration of the Marine Drive intersection and separate island access from a 2008 document. Can you provide a link to it? I cannot find it on the CRC website.

    • Also, I really don’t understand your obsession with the Marine Drive interchange. It provides an excellent holding buffer for northbound traffic and allows the dominant morning flow, south to east on MLK to complete without stopping. There are many more cars which curve onto eastbound MLK than slot into the light queue for westbound Marine Drive.

      Also, it really would not do at all to replace just the interchange while leaving the congested bridge. All that traffic that curls around the spiral and back onto MLK and Marine Drive to the east and west northbound in the afternoon would be waiting in queues on those streets which would be much longer than today’s.

      As much discourteous and rage-inducing cutting in as happens today, there would be yet massively more because of the longer exposure of the waiting vehicles to parallel “through” lanes.

      Certainly, if the bridges were to be replaced in the immediate future, it would be a reasonable first step in the project. But as a “stand-alone” effort, frankly it stinks. Parallel access to the island from Marine Drive and closure of the I-5 ramps would provide much greater safety and traffic flow benefits.

      • P.S.

        I do certainly agree that the current pedestrian path is punishingly bad. I don’t understand what the barrier to having a walkway on the west side of the bridge to the island might have been when it was built. Perhaps they didn’t foresee the MAX station at Expo Center.

      • The new road bridge is due north from the MAX expo station, with a MAX extension alongside. This road can go neither ‘under’ nor ‘over’ the existing Marine Drive interchange ramps. You want the MAX/road bridge? Ya gotta do Marine Drive first, both at the same time is most plausible.

        • The road drops down from the signaled west side intersection. When one walks from it down to the MAX platforms there’s about a three foot drop to the start of the pathway down to the station and then maybe a nine foot drop to the platform level.

          Why can’t the road be rebuilt to rise instead of fall and MAX pass under it with flattened pans like under the westbound 26 to southbound 217 loop at Sunset? Yes, it might be necessary to raise the intersection a couple of feet, but the road is dropping from the west end of the bridge over the freeway.

          That’s much cheaper than rebuilding the entire interchange. And if the bridge isn’t going to be replaced, there’s no reason to rebuild the interchange.

          • I disagree, Anandakos, listen. The MAX extension north must achieve a maximum height above flood stage level near Expo station (in flood stage level). Therefore, Marine Drive ramps must be raised/replaced due south, with better results overall, guaranteed. The longer-lasting construction proposal, and, wait for it, ahem, I don’t believe it, ahem, LESS EXPENSIVE.
            Concept number one baby, oh yeah.

            • Sure the tracks have to clear flood stage. But one of the poposals (the one named “Standard”) did exactly this: raised the existing Marine Drive profile high enough to clear the tracks. Then the tracks went over the south channel on a diagonal to end up lined for the station.


              As I said, I can’t find any “official option” that does not have direct access ramps from I-5 to Hayden Island. Can you please provide the link to whatever document presents the option you are advocating?

              Thank you.

            • In 2010, ODOT produced its “Off-island Access” Concept #1 alternative. The access to Hayden Island design now on the table is near the same as proposed from the beginning, 2004.

              The Marine Dr Interchange design was also completed with the Concept #1 option, but Wsdot rejected it, with no explanation.
              Why did ODOT go to the trouble of devising the safer access, only to have it rejected by Wsdot?

              Sorry, no links to the Concept #1 images. I looked through my CRC file links, but my computer is too slow. ODOT, the City, Metro, Tri-Met all have copies of concept #1 filed away somewhere, locked up, secret. The Hayden Island ‘spagetti ramp’ mess Concept ‘D’ was amended last year, not for the better. These two design concepts appeared together at public meetings May-Aug 2010.
              Chris Smith ought to know about it, and take a stand, but politics is all about who you know not what you know.

            • Anandakos, the CRC link shows these design alternatives rebuild Marine Drive Interchange, just like I said. Concept #1 off-island access was via an additional I-5 southbound ramp from this version of the Marine Drive interchange, landing on Hayden Island just west of Home Depot smoothly with less gradient than access directly at I-5. The main I-5 bridge between Hayden Island and Oregon mainland, as I understand it, doesn’t need to be completely rebuilt. MAX is extended to a surface ‘terminus’ rather than an elevated station.

            • Wells,

              The first option, titled “STANDARD” in the document linked directly below from October 2009 shows a new bridge slightly to the north of the existing bridge (you can tell that because there is no curve in it and that the roadway shown would truncate the existing northbound on-ramp loop. Lastly, it reaches existing Marine Drive at the same point as today’s roadway doies. That bridge design crosses over the MAX before it “lands”.

              I’m not advocating rebuilding the existing bridge as this does, but just raising the intersection at the west end a couple of feet and then rising west of it to cross the MAX tracks before descending, all in the existing roadway envelope.

              I realize that doing all that within the existing envelope is an engineering challenge, but states rebuild freeways within the existing envelope often enough that they can probably figure out how to do it.

            • I figured some cut back version was what you meant. Constructing both Marine Dr and the local road/MAX bridge is the better argument for refusing to pay back the federal funding. Kitzhaber should get credit for keeping the CRC going if only to do these. Concept #1 is a beautiful alternative wrongfully kept from public consideration.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *