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I-5 bridge headlines ignoring core issues

July 7, 2008

From Guest Opinion,

Today’s headline read “New bridge just pushes congestion into future” And “Critics say it’s not a sound investment”.  Issues are being raised over expanding the Interstate bridge over the Columbia River.  Some say it is too much money for a project that will only buy a short amount for traffic relief.  Others say light rail is the answer and some were quoted today as saying it is an Oregon-only problem. 

The I-5 Columbia river congestion is not an Oregon-only problem.  It is often cited that the current bridge is among the worst, if the not the worst, interstate congestion point between Canada and Mexico.   The problem is much bigger than we give it credit for.

Too much focus has been placed on commuters.  Commerce with its fleet of trucks considers I-5 a vital artery to transportation in the Northwest.   Mass transit and light rail is not an option for triple trailer tucks.  Traffic problems does just affect the truck driver but the hundred points of contacts that driver is responsible for.   Oregon commerce deserves to have this international bottleneck fixed on today’s timetable.  Contrary to the headlines, relieving today’s traffic crisis is a sound investment for the future.

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