The CRC or Columbia River Crossing project as it now stands is fiscally wasteful, environmentally degrading and has manifested into a 10 billion dollar monstrosity. We, as Portlanders, have long stood fast against highway projects that cripple our budgets and diminish our quality of life. This bridge will carry 12 lanes and encourage sprawl and further pollution and nothing for us.
There are proposals to seismically retro fit the current bridge and bring light rail and pedestrian/bike lanes and this would be a far more sensible alternative. A retro fit would cost less than 100 million and create a great number of jobs. Large scale new projects have been shown repeatedly to create fewer jobs for our investment because of start up costs and consulting fees.
Imagine 100 million versus 10 billion. Imagine that much more money to invest in education, social services, public transit and other socially conscious endeavors. Only 9% of bridge traffic is commercial; the bulk of drivers are commuters who live in Vancouver and drive to work in Portland. A better use of those funds would be to encourage light rail and bus use with fare subsidies and park and ride stations.
We do not need a new boondoggle bridge. We need to preserve and protect our region from sprawl and pollution. Visit the website Stop the CRC for more info.
By William Youngren