Mayor Sam Adams and Metro President David Bragdon have officially expressed support for the revised design plans for the much-debated Columbia River Crossing (CRC) and made clear their intentions to vote in favor of moving the project along at a meeting Monday, Aug. 9.
In a joint statement issued Aug. 5, Adams and Bragdon said they agreed with the recommendation made by a multi-agency staff to replace the five-mile stretch of Interstate 5 connecting Portland and Vancouver with a 10-lane highway bridge and will “advocate strongly for this approach.”
“We believe the right bridge must do more than provide a temporary fix for today’s traffic woes,” the statement read. “It must serve as a transit and highway crossing that tackles those traffic problems with 21st-century tools and policies.”
Adams and Bragdon said data has shown that a less expensive 10-lane bridge can function as well as one set at the previously discussed width of 12 lanes.
Analysis has shown it could be striped initially for eight lanes, the statement read.
The officials also voiced approval for a new Hayden Island interchange design.
“On Hayden Island, we now have an alternative that has broad support from community stakeholders – one that provides non-freeway access for island residents and visitors, has a smaller footprint than previous designs, and allows for long-term redevelopment of the island,” the statement read.
Adams and Bragdon, along with other members of the Project Sponsors Council, a group of elected officials selected by the governors of Oregon and Washington specifically to consult on the CRC, will meet Monday to decide on aspects of the project, including the width of the new bridge, the Hayden Island interchange and issues relating to the management of the project as it’s designed.
Both, however, ensured that the vote “does not end the conversation about how the bridge will look, how it will operate, and how it will be funded.”