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Searching for CRC bridge solutions

March 20, 2014

Searching for CRC bridge solutions
By Richard Leonetti,Oregon-tax-news
Oregon Tax News

The CRC failed (as pointed out by the Editorial Board) due to the inclusion of light rail. Why not analyze the objection to the light rail and discover that it is a very expensive expenditure for a tourist train. It will not serve as an improved commute option, since the train ride from Vancouver is planned to take more than twice the time as present express buses. With a multi-lane bridge, and some improvements near the Rose Garden, the buses will be even quicker–and far less costly.

Also to be considered is that substantial numbers of Washington residents think that the introduction of rail in their transportation grid is unwise investment.

The fact that the Fed’s will pick up most of the rail cost (still leaving the taxpayers in both states millions to pay) has obscured that the rational to “improve” the commute is false and undesirable.

The costs could be further reduced if just the bridge was included, without trying to hide unrelated highway costs miles from the bridge in the borrowing.

Or a completely different approach would be to simply build a third bridge downstream to relieve traffic with the thought of eventually connecting it to a West-side by-pass highway.

  
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Discuss this article

John Fairplay March 20, 2014

Oregon and Washington could get a bare-bones replacement for the I-5 bridge AND a third bridge downstream for the same cost as the light-rail boondoggle previously suggested. $180 million has been wasted on a plan that all but the most reverent Church of Transit congregants knew would not work. Someone should be headed off to federal prison over that.

Bob Clark March 20, 2014

I think the West side bypass (of downtown Portland) really should be looked at vigorously again with the enlistment of companies which build and operate regulated toll roads. Linking west side Portland with multiple port options would take traffic off of the I-5 North Portland corridor and most importantly the Vista Ridge tunnel. Using a regulated toll model would take the pressure off of public financing. Some part of the tolls could go to environmental offsets to appease the 1000 fiends of Oregon. Then too, a west side bypass has the potential to really unleash Oregon’s only real economic engine of growth, that being the Sunset corridor with the likes of Intel, Nike, Genentech, etc.

If not a third bridge, at the very least, the Oregon Department of Transportation should try doing the interchange part of the shelved CRC project on the Oregon side.

Larry Scheib March 20, 2014

Your logic doesn’t sound correct by any account. The current yellow line from expo to downtown is 34 mins. the addition of 5 stations extrapolates to an additional 10 minutes. the current bus comes out at 78 mins according to Trimet website.

Also, Greshem is the largest Cityburb feeder to Portland metro and it provides 40,000+ LR boardings a day. Vancouver is the 2nd largest provider and can easily have over 30,000 boardings. That is a lot of potential commuters off the highway. Also, the thing about LR is that once the line is in place growth doesn’t need new lanes like highways; just add more coaches or a higher frequency.

Furthermore, It was the county that rejected a 1% tax proposoal for LR. If the latest plan by C-Tran was accepted then this tax would be off the table and I’m sure the 49th district would want the rail, they are the only ones directly impacted and not the county.

jim karlock March 20, 2014

The feds WILL NOT pay all of the light rail cost – they demand a 50% match.

For the CRC, that match was to be paid by a credit for the money the states put in and bridge tolls on the mega project.

But without light rail, the project gets much simpler and cheaper so no tolls would be needed – the two states’ money would be more than enough.

Therefore the light rail local match was to be paid by tolls.

Dump the light rail and just build a bridge. Or build three for the cost of the CRC.

Thanks
JK

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