RTC: A $3.3 Billion replacement bridge?

No answers to RTC including a $3.3 Billion Interstate Bridge replacement in our Regional Transportation Plan

Is this simply a resurrection of the CRC, or is this a new proposal?

My comments to the Nov. 6, 2018 RTC Board. You can view them on CVTV here.

Just 2 ½ months ago, the RTC Vice Chair began an “Apology Tour” in Oregon. She said she wanted to “start a conversation” with Oregon over transportation. My, how quickly the conversation seems to have morphed into a specific project.

Was the fix in?

How can we go from “starting a conversation,” to our RTC magically proposing a $3.3 Billion Interstate Bridge replacement, in less than 3 months? The bridge replacement triples the price tag of the RTP!

Is this simply a resurrection of the CRC, or is this a new proposal?

Can you tell the citizens of SW WA the details of this $3.3 Billion project?  Will it include TOLLS? How many lanes in each direction are you talking about for cars and trucks? Where will it begin and where will it end? Will this project include light rail? What’s the price tag of the light rail? If not, are you including a “dedicated lane” for transit? What’s the price tag for that? How many vehicles will it serve? Most importantly, how much will it reduce traffic congestion?

Where are the details? Why hasn’t the Board had an extensive briefing on this proposal?  It makes up TWO THIRDS of the price tag of this RTP? Will this require TOLLS or new taxes? If so, how much? Don’t the people deserve answers before you endorse adding such a HUGE project?

The CRC’s $3.5 Billion price tag included $850 million for light rail, a $1 Billion new bridge, and a ton of special interest, pork barrel projects. That included a new TriMet HQ in Portland; a “fix” to Portland’s Steel Bridge”; an over-priced upgrade to TriMet’s Gresham “bus-barn” maintenance facility, and even something in Hood River. Can you assure SW WA citizens there are no pork barrel projects in this $3.3 Billion proposal?

If it’s possible for this body to go from nothing to $3.3 Billion in just 3 months, then why don’t you also ADD two projects to your 20 year “wish list” of transportation projects?

In your 2008 “Visioning Study”, you properly identified the need for TWO new transportation corridors across the Columbia River. Why not add TWO new projects to your RTP? Is anybody here willing to offer an amendment?

How about $1 Billion for an East County Bridge! Figg Engineering made an offer of $800 million in a “fixed price” contract.

Next, add a $1.2 Billion to $1.5 Billion bridge connecting I-5 to US 30 in Oregon. You’d be moving forward following a DECADE of “conversation” about the need for two new transportation corridors.

We have the 12th worst traffic congestion in the nation. The only real solution is to add vehicle capacity, including building new transportation corridors. Your 2008 Visioning Study a decade ago proved that. When will you take action on the new transportation corridors your visioning study recommended?


REFERENCE — In total, the plan asked for $1.79 Billion in “regional” projects.

Included is a request for DOUBLE the CTran spending on capital projects.

CTran is also seeking TWO new Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) projects, and will seek to add two new Bus on Shoulder programs.

The 2008 RTC “Visioning Study” map shows the need for TWO new transportation corridors and offers two options for each corridor.