Metro Councilor Robert Liberty announces panel to discuss CRC alternatives

Robert Liberty wants to talk about
alternatives to the current
CRC design.
(Photo © J.M Maus)

Metro Councilor Robert Liberty, the man who likened the new I-5 bridge proposed by the Columbia River Crossing Project to a “monster project” that we should leave behind in favor of “smarter, cheapter, greener solutions,” is putting action behind those words.

On Friday Liberty announced that he would convene a panel discussion to come up with alternative solutions to the current CRC proposal. The statement from Liberty’s office about the event said:

“The Columbia River Crossing project in its current form is facing very serious financial and political challenges.

Metro Councilor Robert Liberty believes it is important to begin a community discussion of some alternatives to the current proposal, in the event it is infeasible.

Over the last several months he has solicited suggestions of alternative approaches to the problems which the current CRC is supposed to address. He has asked a panel of experts and community leaders to gather for a group discussion of the merits of these proposals.”

One of the draft concept designs for the CRC.

Among the panelists are: Gary Toth, Senior Director, Transportation Initiatives with the Project for Public Spaces & former Director, Project Planning and Development, New Jersey Department of Transportation; Mary Nolan, Oregon House Majority Leader; Chris Girard, President/CEO of Plaid Pantry; Keith Lawton, transportation consultant and a former Transportation Planner for Metro.

Last week, the CRC project took a step forward when the Project Sponsors Council came together to support a 10-lane bridge and major changes to the Hayden Island Interchange. However, the project is far from moving full steam ahead. Major issues like bridge design, management authority, and where the estimated $3.6 billion will come from to pay for it, still remain.

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