Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on September 13th, 2010 at 4:32 pm
Tomorrow, Metro councilor Robert Liberty will host a panel discussion on alternatives to the currently proposed Columbia River Crossing project. In announcing the event, Liberty said that given the “serious financial and political challenges” the project currently faces, it might be feasible to come up with some alternatives to the $2.6 to $3.6 billion proposal that’s currently on the table.
With that in mind, Liberty’s office gave us a sneak peek at some of the proposals they’ll be discussing tomorrow. There are 14 alternative proposals in all and they run the gamut from full design proposals to ideas about how else our region could spend billions of dollars on transportation.
Among the recommendations of citizen activist Spencer Boomhower (whom you might recall as the guy who created the popular animation of the Idaho Stop Law and who has contributed to BikePortland in the past) are to just fix the existing I-5 bridge (not replace it), get rid of the Hayden Island interchange (it causes “turbulence”, which leads to congestion), and demolish the big box stores at Jantzen Beach Supercenter.
Architect George Crandall of Crandall-Arambula will give a presentation at the event. He calls his proposal the “Future Worthy Alternative.” Like Boomhower, Crandall also calls for fixing the current span and bringing it up to current earthquake standards. In addition, he’d build a new bridge solely for light rail as well as a new rail bridge near existing BNSF rail bridge that’s west of I-5.
Bob Durgan of Andersen Construction has a proposal called the Bi-State Industrial Corridor. He wants state officials to take the opportunity to rebuild the CRC and combine it with the need to replace the BNSF railroad bridge. In its place, Durgan would build a multi-modal bridge that would work better for freight and trains, while having additional capacity for cars, trucks, BRT, and biking and walking.
These are just some of the proposals that will be discussed tomorrow. In case you’re wondering, Liberty’s office says the panelists at tomorrow’s event “will not endorse a particular proposal but illuminate the strengths and weaknesses of each alternative and its elements.” Sounds interesting.
I’ll update this post after the event with a PDF so you can view more details on all the alternative proposals. Check the event details below:
Panel Discussion on Alternatives to the Current CRC Proposal
7 to 9 PM – Tuesday September 14, 2010
Portland Building auditorium (1120 SW Fifth Ave)
The event is free and open to the public. Space is limited.
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