Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

As legislators hold hearing on CRC, some are already looking at cheaper plans

Posted by on February 11th, 2014 at 4:40 pm

A 2011 rendering of the proposed
Columbia River Crossing.

Two veteran state legislators, one of whom was a key swing vote in support of last year’s Columbia River Crossing funding plan, say consensus is building for scrapping the freeway-rail expansion plan and starting over.

Both said they doubt their colleagues will re-approve the existing proposal, though a public committee hearing Wednesday afternoon is likely to advance the debate.

State Rep. Mitch Greenlick and state Rep. Lew Frederick — neither of whom have conferred on the issue — both said Tuesday that a new, much smaller truck-and-train freight bridge would solve the key problems facing the river crossing with far lower costs.

Rep. Mitch Greenlick
(D-NW Portland)

“I’m not saying don’t replace the bridge,” said Greenlick (D-Northwest Portland), whose amendment last year, withholding Oregon funding unless Washington’s legislature also approved the freeway plan, turned out to be pivotal. “I’m saying find a new way to do that.”

Both legislators, however, noted that they have no idea “what the heck’s going to happen,” as Greenlick put it, at tomorrow’s hearing in the House Transportation and Economic Development.

The governors of Oregon and Washington declared the project dead last summer after it failed to pass the Washington state senate. But Gov. John Kitzhaber later revived a slightly cheaper version of the freeway plan with a proposal for Oregon to handle the entire project, including the use of eminent domain to acquire property near the Washington bridge landing and the collection of $50 million a year in tolls, mostly from Washington residents.

State Rep. Lew Frederick (D-NE Portland)
(Photo: Portland Public Schools)

Frederick (D-Northeast Portland), who gave a passionate floor speech against the freeway plan when it passed last year, said Tuesday that events since then have moved many of his colleagues toward his camp.

“A lot of things were promised in the last session regarding the CRC, and many of those things simply did not pan out,” Frederick said. “We’ve also seen revelations about the potential backup of tolling on 205. And of course since that time we’ve had the Washington state legislature say no. … All of those things for me indicate that there’s not even the grudging support, in some cases, for some of my colleagues.”

The bridge’s loudest supporters, however, are two of the most powerful politicians in Oregon: House Speaker Tina Kotek (D-North Portland), head of the House Democratic caucus, and Gov. John Kitzhaber.

Two weeks ago, The Oregonian reported that state Senate President Peter Courtney had “backed away” from supporting an Oregon-only project.

Frederick said Tuesday that the coalitions for and against the freeway-rail project are hard to describe.

“People would like to put it into a particular model that they know, the Republican/Democrat model — that doesn’t hold up,” he said. “There are some business groups that are very very supportive and there are a few who are not, and there are unions who are supportive and there are a few who are not.”

For his part, Greenlick said the freeway plan never made much sense to him, though he reluctantly supported it last year.

“My objection to it all along was there were far better options that were cheaper,” he said. “It got past the point of no return.”

If Kitzhaber and Kotek’s Oregon-only plan fails, Greenlick said, the legislature should act quickly to find a better plan.

“I think we immediately need to start looking for a new way to do it,” he said, suggesting a truck-pedestrian-rail bridge, including a bike connection, as a cheap way to take pressure off the existing spans. “That would be a much cheaper option and then if one of those two bridges failed, then you’d have a way to deal with it.”

Frederick said he thinks a local freight bridge to Hayden island is the ticket adding that replacing the downstream railroad bridge would also reduce I-5 bridge lifts by making it easier for large ships to keep a straight course down the Columbia.

“Everyone realizes that any sort of bridge is going to be disruptive,” Frederick said. “The question is what is going to be the benefit.”

Frederick predicted that tomorrow’s hearing will have “rather energetic conversations,” and it’s far from clear where things are headed. Opponents of the freeway project, including Plaid Pantry economist Joe Cortright, 1000 Friends of Oregon and Oregon Walks, will be testifying in opposition. You can get details about the hearing, contact committee members and track the event live from the committee’s page on the legislature’s website.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Thank you — Jonathan

  • Barney February 11, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    No really! Why can’t a 107 year old mechanical-lift bridge built on wood pilings with hammered rivets just work forever? This things uses 4000 lbs or more of grease a year just to keep its creaky a$$ moving! I wonder where all that grease goes?

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    • Alan 1.0 February 11, 2014 at 8:30 pm

      Interesting article in The Columbian, wasn’t it?

      Absent a big earthquake or a catastrophic encounter with a too-tall truck or ship, the Interstate 5 bridge that now spans the Columbia River could stand almost indefinitely, a state inspector says.

      (says Oregon’s state bridge engineer Bruce Johnson)

      Yeah, the cable grease no doubt joins the other effluents washed off the roadway into the river. Not sure what can be done about that but I’m certain that it’s insignificant in comparison to the CRC’s overall enviromental impact, and very likely relative to day-to-day automotive pollutants, too. Still, would be nice not to have it.

      The wooden foundations apparently are not an issue in their own right (wood doesn’t decay in that anaerobic environment) but the lack of seismic resistance bothers me. A full seismic upgrade of both the foundations and the lift tower is estimated by Johnson at just under $1B. That’s getting pretty close to Jim Howell’s CSAii proposal (the one with the Bascule drawspan). Somewhere in the range of those possibilities is where I’d like to see my congress critters sniffing around.

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      • Alex Reed February 12, 2014 at 1:25 pm

        That article was updated with a much lower seismic retrofit cost estimate. It was estimated in 2006 by a panel of experts including Johnson, apparently Johnson had forgotten!
        Actual cost range for seismic upgrade: $125 million to $265 million

        AKA, approximately as much as has already been spent on CRC planning ($190 million).

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        • Alan 1.0 February 12, 2014 at 2:08 pm

          Thanks for that, Alex. Things get crazy trying to evaluate which numbers are meaningful when they’re bandied about without adequate context or attribution! It actually makes more sense with the lower number for just seismic upgrades to the old bridges ($135-$265M), as it is considerably less than CSAii which includes both seismic upgrades and a new span ($950M; call it $1B), and then CSAii is a lot less than the full build-out of all phases of CSA ($1.8B), and CRC at $3.6B (both the latter figures from CSA video).

          For reference, the document that Cortright cites for seismic upgrades in the portlandtransport.com article is:


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    • dan February 12, 2014 at 9:12 am

      Darn tax and spend liberals always thinking there’s going to be money in the future to pay for any pie-in-the-sky project. The CRC is $4 billion that we don’t have, and that will not be recouped in tolls. I for one don’t welcome the additional tax burden that we’ll eventually bear to cover those costs.

      As far as the merits of century-old construction, I can tell you with confidence that my 100-year old house will outlast, by far, many of the houses built today.

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    • Todd Boulanger February 12, 2014 at 4:44 pm

      The extra grease left on falls onto the path sidewalk…from what I have seen every year… and it likely also falls onto the roadway and in the Columbia, I would expect.

      Local cyclists have complained in the past to ODoT about excess grease on the sidewalk deck.

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  • MaxD February 11, 2014 at 5:34 pm

    Here is my list of reasons why I believe this project is a mistake.
    The CRC:

    1. Further erodes the urban fabric in North Portland
    2. Promotes sprawl in Clark County
    3. Fails to provide local access to Hayden Island
    4. Puts large industry (and many smaller supporting industries) out of business at considerable cost to taxpayers, and only creates temporary jobs.
    5. Significantly worsens air quality in neighborhoods with high asthma rates
    6. Permanently reduces river-based freight when most cities and forecasters are calling for increasing clearances.
    7. Creates diversion on to local streets creating unsafe conditions.
    8. Is too expensive. This will use too much of Oregon’s transportation budget for too many decades
    9. Is too wide. The highway expansion will simply move the bottleneck further south into Portland neighborhoods
    10. Is unwanted in Washington, and Vancouver does not want Light Rail
    11. Is the wrong priorty for bridge safety; the project does not address the Railroad bridge that is in poor condition, or any of the other bridges in Portland and Oregon in WORSE condition, and in fact this project will use funds that would otherwise be available for maintenance and upgrades.
    12. Will cause diversion to I-205
    13. Will not be paid for by tool. We Oregonians have little recourse to collect tolls from Washingtonians (or drivers from CA, Canada, or other states)
    14. Is inappropriate. Oregon money should be used to demolish Historic architecture and landmarks in Washington and replace them with parking garages, that is antithetical to decades of progressive, successful Oregon planning.
    15. Is unaffordable. Oregon will shoulder all cost overruns, and that will take money away from important transportation projects around the state.
    16. Is an allegedly a criminal boondoggle! The investigation into charges of corruption have not been completed yet.

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    • J_R February 12, 2014 at 9:01 am

      MaxD: Several of your 16 points are completely wrong, others have some element of truth, but only a few are really valid. I’ll point out two of the first category (completely wrong) as examples.

      #3: One element of the CRC project is the local access bridge from Marine Drive near the Expo Center to Hayden Island. Look at the maps on the CRC website. It’s there.

      #7. You claim it creates diversion to local streets. Nonsense. Failing to provide adequate capacity on I-5 causes diversion to local streets. People facing congestion divert to local streets. When I biked on Interstate and Vancouver, I could tell when there was a crash or blockage on I-5 because frustrated motorists blew by me in greater numbers because they were diverting to local streets. Providing adequate capacity on I-5 is the best way to avoid diversion to local streets.

      You are unlikely to be persuaded by my response to any of your comments, so I’ll quit now, but I think you are wrong on many of your 16 reasons.

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      • MaxD February 12, 2014 at 10:05 am

        I will take your word and stand corrected about the local access. However, I still disagree with you regarding diversion. Creating a a huge span over the Columbia and into North Portland can induce more traffic on to I-5. I-5 will neck down to 3 lanes in each direction at the southern end of the project causing back-ups further south than where they occur now. A certain number of people are likely to peel off of I-5 and try to “beat the traffic” by racing through neighborhood streets. That said, technically I completely agree with your statement ” Failing to provide adequate capacity on I-5 causes diversion to local streets” but to achieve adequate capacity on I-5 means widening the entire freeway through the entire urban core. I believe there are many who advocate for this, and this is the precise reason I am opposed to the CRC.

        I appreciate your critique.

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      • Anandakos February 20, 2014 at 4:20 pm

        “Providing adequate capacity on I-5” as you propose is code for screwing North Portland over again. You can’t squeeze another pair of lanes in the trench and still have on and off ramps. So that means that the adjacent file of blocks to the east or west of the trench would have to be bulldozed.

        Between Killingsworth and Rosa Parks those are nice neighborhoods with elegant old craft built houses. It would be vandalism to knock down more of them, especially to support McMansion sprawl in north Clark County.

        I live in Hazel Dell and it would seem I care more about the people in Portland than you do.

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    • JOH February 12, 2014 at 2:22 pm


      With respect:

      Yr. #2: I agree that sprawl is a problem in Clark County, but not because of the CRC. For DECADES Clark County commissioners (not just the current crop) have received the bulk of their campaign funding from developers & the BIA (Building Industry Association). These are the parties promoting sprawl, and CRC or not, it will continue until the umbilical link between commissioners & developers is broken.

      Yr. #10: I’d not say the CRC is “unwanted” in WA – they just don’t want to pay for it. I think you mean Clark County doesn’t want light rail. North and east Clark County get absolutely NO benefit from light rail. That’s half the population of the county right there – why on earth would they be expected to support spending scarce tax $ for something from which they get no benefit??? Vancouver (city) has grudgingly accepted light rail as the price for moving the whole project forward.
      I have problems with light rail going over the river also, but not just because of the price tag. I’ve travelled the MAX yellow line many times, and as near as I can tell it’s already at or near capacity during rush hours. Coming out of downtown, by the time the train reaches Rose 1/4, you can’t even get in the door. In addition, travel on the yellow line is SLO-O-O-W, even slower than a bus traveling the same route. Once I’m up the grade from Delta Park to Kenton I can ride my bike to downtown and routinely beat MAX – often when I’m on MAX I watch cyclists passing by and disappearing in the distance as I sit at one of the station stops. The cost of a MAX ticket isn’t the issue, it’s transit TIME. Until TriMet shows me how: (1) they’re going to increase effective capacity on the yellow line without compromising green line capacity and (2) how they’re going to get transit time down to something approaching the time to drive the same trip in a car, I’ll remain a sceptic.

      Yr. #11: As far as I know the RR bridge is not public property, it’s property of the BNSF RR. How does one take public funds to fix a private property problem? That’s a whole separate issue and shouldn’t be linked to CRC. I can think of ways CRC could possibly help BNSF at minimal cost, but that would require involvement of lots of state & federal legislators from both sides of the river, something not likely to happen any time soon.

      Yr. #12: Much has been made of concerns about commuters using a toll-free I-205 to avoid I-5 tolls. Though some of this will undoubtedly happen I think the problem is not as severe as projected. Again the issue is TIME. The relatively small savings from avoiding the toll will be quickly offset by the value of the extra time & gas required to follow a longer I-205 route. I do see a related issue: the plan to charge tolls in only one direction. Drivers will avoid the toll by diving south over the I-205 bridge and then return via the I-5 bridge creating an imbalance in bridge capacity utilization. Better to charge 1/2 the toll BOTH ways on I-5. This avoids the imbalance and cuts in half the financial and psychological incentives to avoid the toll. Toll the I-205 bridge?? Maybe, but on a practical basis it ain’t gonna happen. I can’t imagine the WA legislature ever agreeing to I-205 bridge tolls.

      Yr. #13: “Will not be paid for by tool (SIC?? – tolls?). Yes it can. Instead of putting toll sensors on the bridge, put them on the segment of I-5 between Hayden Island and the Marine Drive exit which is entirely within OR, so OR can set the tolls at whatever level they wish, including congestion pricing.

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      • MaxD February 13, 2014 at 10:41 am


        thanks for the comments,
        regarding #2: CRC (or I-5) does not cause spawl, I agree with assessment to a certain extent. Howver, a big freeway expansion north of the bridge, and a wider bridge is likely to promote further justification of more sprawl.
        #10: I agree that MAX seems close to capacity, but I also think it is too slow for the distance traveled. At ithe projected speed, it seems unlikely to be very successful. The MAX also comes with trade-offs that I do not think are worth it: The Max forces the bridge to be low, which negatively impacts otherwise successful industry north of the bridge, which leads to an $80 million pay-off to those industries with Oregon money, plus lost jobs, plus permanent limitation on future river-based industry.
        #11 The RR bridge is private property, but WA is another state, yet our governor is working damn hard to find a way to make it work. If the state wanted to work with the railroad to fund and fix this bridge for the benefit of all, I am sure they could find a way.
        #12&#13 I am not an an expert on tolling, but there have been widespread, credible accusations of the CRC using outdated, overly optimistic projections for their tolling projections. I think tolling I-205 is a good idea, but I believe it would take federal action (not impossible, but also not being worked on very hard). Whether or not this can be be paid for tolls is, I believe, up for debate, and you and I appear to be on opposite sides. I would simply urge you to consider that the tolls from vehicles just passing through (from California, Canada, etc) will be difficult to collect, toll rates may have to go up if the project has overruns or we do not receive full federal funding, adn increased fares will result in increased diversion to 205 and there is currently no mechanism to toll that bridge.

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    • Todd Boulanger February 12, 2014 at 4:53 pm

      Item 10) – this item is not so black and white… there is support for LRT and improved bike ped access as part of the CRC in the west side of Vancouver and in the the downtown neighbourhoods…

      And this more quiet support could rise above the anti CRC-LRT noise if those Oregonians against the CRC were to develop a true PLAN B that used the FTA funds and political capital to bring HCT and bike ped access to Hayden Island and Downtown Vancouver ala MT Hood Freeway magic.

      In my past surveys of bike commuters using the I-5 Bridge there is almost a 50/50 split of Oregonians commuting to Downtown Vancouver and Clark County residents working in Portland. Just saying’

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  • Bjorn February 11, 2014 at 5:56 pm

    I love the part where they say,

    “The total cost of the project, excluding costs associated with improvements to Interstate 5 and the interchange improvements north of the State Route 14 interchange in the State of Washington, may not exceed $2.9 billion after the effective date of this 2014 Act.”

    because we all know that if they go over budget they will just stop work and leave the half finished bridge as a monument to fiscal restraint. Also note that they are excluding the 200+ million already spent from the tally.

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    • Adam H. February 11, 2014 at 7:36 pm

      They learned that trick from Robert Moses.

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    • John February 12, 2014 at 10:41 am

      I’ve seen one place where they did stop work on a bridge for decades, In NJ an extension to hwy 18 was halted in the 60’s leaving the pilings and supports in the Raritan river. In the 80’s they finally completed the project. So stopping construction can happen. But in this case is was an expansion to a highway and not a replacement as this one is.

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  • Joe Rowe February 11, 2014 at 6:02 pm

    Please call your lawmaker using this link:


    When the May 2014 election hits you can vote to stop the CRC. If you vote in North Portland you can also vote to stop Rep. Kotek.

    Our North Portland lawmaker has voted against North Portland neighbors on the CRC and many issues.

    What are those big issues? She’s failed to support and co-sponsor laws last year on Organic Food(5) , Clean air and Heath Care for all. She’s gone against most Democrats and joined all voting Republicans in voting YES to support Monsanto SB861. She gave Nike $150 million of funds for a measly 500 jobs they can create and then cut.

    Here are the links to her yes votes. All the silence on sponsoring key issues. All the documents. Even the Nike Back door deal signed by our Governor and Nike CEO.

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    • spare_wheel February 12, 2014 at 10:44 am

      It’s very annoying when people attempt to latch on their pet issues to another cause. For example, I detest the organic food movement and avoid using organic products as much as possible. Industrial organic is poisoning our environment with toxic unregulated manure and is the overwhelming contributor to the decimation of atlantic intertidal fisheries. Trillions of menhaden and similarly endangered intertidal fish have been (and are being) needlessly slaughtered to grow organic produce. Big organic is, IMO, worse than big Ag.

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  • Grandpa February 11, 2014 at 6:34 pm

    CRC is BikePortland’s Bengazi.

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    • q`Tzal February 11, 2014 at 10:14 pm

      Cool! Nonsensical analogies! Lemme try…
      The CRC is Kitzhaber’s peanut butter filled chew tow.

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      • q`Tzal February 12, 2014 at 7:07 am

        The CRC is Portlandia’s Wombat Radiator

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        • dan February 12, 2014 at 9:14 am

          The CRC is Jules Koppel-Bailey’s Fatal Attraction

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          • Justin February 12, 2014 at 11:46 am

            This is my new favorite band-name generator. I’d pay to see Wombat Radiator or Kotek Dinosaur Frisbee.

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      • Todd Boulanger February 12, 2014 at 4:54 pm

        ?…chew toy?

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        • q`Tzal February 12, 2014 at 7:07 pm

          What I wanted was a short quip encapsulating the futility of Dottie’s sister Kit (A League of Their Own) regarding fast balls:
          Dottie: “High fast balls: she can’t hit em, she can’t lay off them.”

          Kitzhaber and the legislature’s constant slavish devotion to a new bridge project (when a perfectly suitable seismic rehabilitation was priced under 10% of the full replacement cost AND the alleged “need” for more lanes is based on faulty traffic projections that year after year are way too high) in the face on broad public opposition is like that fast ball quote. They’re gonna keep trying until someone hides the ball.

          Ultimately the visual of a Kong rubber chew toy with peanut butter stuffed inside where the dog can’t get to it more simply evokes the mindless frenetic futility I see in Kitzhaber & friends keeping this waste of money alive.

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      • Mossby Pomegranate February 12, 2014 at 5:33 pm

        DIRTY COAL: Save us from Governor Kitzhaber

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        • q`Tzal February 12, 2014 at 7:08 pm


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  • 9watts February 11, 2014 at 6:56 pm

    Note how the CRC ‘never made sense’ to Greenlick, but he voted for it anyway. We [don’t] need politicians like that.

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) February 12, 2014 at 9:56 am

      Exactly. That sort of stuff drives me crazy. I think our previous reporting about how many legislators had never even seen the concept drawings of the highway lanes/interchanges, just a few days before the big vote, speak to that issue.

      Days before possible vote, senators in the dark about CRC project

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      • q`Tzal February 12, 2014 at 10:52 am

        The best explanation I’ve heard is the description of politics by politicians as a series of compromises to pass laws where neither side gets what they want.

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  • encephalopath February 11, 2014 at 7:49 pm

    Build a nice new rail bridge over the Columbia with bike and pedestrian facilities.

    Everyone else can go back to using ferries.

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  • q`Tzal February 11, 2014 at 10:33 pm

    Can we please, Please, PLEASE seriously look at the Common Sense Alternative?

    What ODOT fails to learn from Los Angeles is that no matter how many lanes you have at your disposal the whole highway grinds to a halt, often 5-10 miles in either direction, from a single collision that can’t get off the road unassisted.
    LA has learned the hard way that tgey can’t build their way out of traffic congestion; they one of the most extensive camera and traffic sensor networks combined with active driver information signs and a fleet of city owned wreckers to get dead vehicles off the road.

    Think of how much congestion would be saved on our I-5 bridge if there was a text message alert system you could sign up to that would warn you 2-3 hours in advance that a bridge lift was going to occur.
    Or perhaps if there were more than just 2 options for crossing the Columbia.

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    • paikikala February 12, 2014 at 9:33 am


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  • Charley February 11, 2014 at 10:56 pm


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    • MattD February 12, 2014 at 10:16 am

      The problem with Common Sense is that it isn’t all that common these days.

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  • Chris Anderson February 12, 2014 at 4:53 am

    Call these #s and make sure they know it’s already far to easy to get car traffic into Portland. The last thing we need is new freeway. http://www.oregonlegislature.gov/FindYourLegislator/leg-districts.html?addr=97211

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    • kittens February 13, 2014 at 4:47 am

      I wonder how many times I can call on a single issue. I have voiced my concerns so many times on the CRC.

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  • anonymous February 12, 2014 at 10:18 am

    There is a debate about the CRC (Again) on the local Portland subReddit.
    It looks like at least one CRC spokesperson is adding lots of links and details from that camp.

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  • Huey Lewis February 12, 2014 at 10:19 am

    Scene; work. SG leans over shoulder and speaks.

    SG: What are you reading?

    HL: About the CRC. The I-5 bridge, some people think it needs to be rebuilt. It gets congested by Clark County commuters. I grew up there…I hate it.

    SG: As a former Southern Californian let me tell you, no matter how many lanes they make that bridge IT WILL FILL UP.

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    • nuovorecord February 13, 2014 at 12:30 pm

      Thanks for the News. 😉

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  • PNP February 12, 2014 at 12:58 pm

    If the bridge needs to be replaced, that’s one thing. But we do NOT need a California-style mega-freeway in the heart of the city. To my eye, this thing has all the hallmarks of a project run amok. Maybe it started as a bridge replacement proposal, but I see no need whatsoever for a hug

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    • dan February 12, 2014 at 1:51 pm

      On the contrary, I think both Kitzhaber and Kotek need some hugs. Perhaps that will help them regain their sanity / develop enough spine to push back against the interest groups in whose pockets they reside.

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  • PNP February 12, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    …huge freeway expansion. As someone else said in today’s comments, traffic will just bottleneck somewhere else. That’s no solution.

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  • Todd Boulanger February 12, 2014 at 4:57 pm

    Jonathan…thanks for using the bridge rendering image of the Hayden Island section…since those 16 MV lanes are the widest point of the proposed facility…and in Oregon too. A lot of folks forget this.

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    • Jim February 13, 2014 at 12:52 am

      Nice shot of lots of ramps. There are still only three through travel lanes in each direction.

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  • Joe Adamski February 12, 2014 at 5:12 pm

    if you are a constituent of either Rep Kotek or Fredericks, you would be well served to send her/him a short note explaining why you cannot give them your vote this November, relating to their current support of the zombie CRC. That is all they will understand,and that is the only pull you have on them. And should you feel in November, that they have not responded to your concerns, a null vote is a solution, a vote cast for anyone else that you feel has half a grip.. though I have not seen a credible challenger so far.. is even better.

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    • kittens February 13, 2014 at 4:50 am

      What if I am a constituent of neither district? I wonder if it even matters.

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  • Jim February 13, 2014 at 12:56 am

    We need to kill this until they take a good look at an affordable alternative. The old bridges could be used longer with a third bridge alternative. The down side to that is when we have our big quake,that heavy lift section will end up in the channel. Just build a simple bridge with more lanes, less off ramps, no light rail, no expensive art projects, no pork going to other parts of the states…

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  • kittens February 13, 2014 at 5:02 am

    I am shocked that these representatives seem to think it ok to support a project which has neither widespread voter or business support and clearly negligent to the financial and environmental future of our state. Anyone who’s supported the project now or in the past will not receive my vote. This is the biggest public works project oregon has ever undertaken. Is this the legacy we want to leave?

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  • Robert Burchett February 13, 2014 at 9:57 am

    I can’t address all of MaxD’s 16 points above, but he leaves out a couple: the embodied energy and air pollution of all that construction (concrete is great stuff, but the cement is really dirty to make), and the incredible congestion caused by a construction project of that magnitude. One ramp project can screw up traffic for weeks or months. Building the CRC would put a clamp on I-5 N for years. If you think it’s bad now. . .

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  • Michael February 13, 2014 at 10:51 am

    I realize this is a pretty late response, but in the last paragraph I think it would have been nice to give credit to Coalition for a Livable Future (CLF) which has been an outspoken critic of the CRC for a long time – and has worked with Joe Cortwright and others to educate and mobilize people (as an aside, it seems also strange to call Joe a “plaid pantry economist” unless he asked to be identified as such) to oppose the highway expansion.

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