Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on March 4th, 2009 at 4:01 pm
Mayor Royce Pollard before a
CRC meeting in February 2007.
(Photo © J. Maus)
On Friday, the Columbia River Crossing Project Sponsors Council will meet to solidify the lane configuration of the new I-5 bridge. According to a press release sent out by the CRC project, the meeting will result in "a recommendation on the number of add/drop (auxiliary) lanes on Interstate 5 in the CRC project area."
There has been a lot of public and media attention given to the CRC lane decision after Mayor Adams and Vancouver Mayor Royce Pollard put forth a compromise lane proposal last week.
That proposal was supported 4-1 by the Portland City Council, giving Mayor Adams the authorization to vote "yes" on a bridge that could accomodate up to 12 lanes (although there's no specific mention of 12 lanes in the CRC press release).
Also according to the proposal, Adams can only vote yes if the Sponsors Council approves his idea to create a Columbia Crossing Mobility Council (download the City Council resolution regarding the Mobility Council, PDF). That council would manage the bridge and have authority to set tolls and manage other aspects of bridge traffic. For Adams, this new Mobility Council is seen as a groundbreaking first for how the region manages motor vehicle traffic and it was the key piece of his compromise with Pollard.
All expectations are that the Sponsors Council will say yes to the Mobility Council (Adams is shrewd enough to have lined up the support before putting together the compromise). However, if for some reason they vote no, then Adams technically does not have authorization from the Portland City Council to vote in support of up to 12 lanes (and I assume it would be considered a major political embarrassment for him).
The Sponsors Council is composed of representatives from the transportation departments from both Washington and Oregon, the cities of Portland and Vancouver, Metro, TriMet, C-TRAN, the
Southwest Washington Regional Transportation Council and two citizen reps.
The meeting is open to the public, though no public testimony will be taken. Agenda and meeting materials are available on the CRC's website.
Here are the meeting details:
CRC Project Sponsors Council
Friday, March 6th at 10 a.m. - 12 noon
WSDOT SW Region Building (11018 NE 51st Circle in Vancouver)