Lawmakers Move To Revive Plan To Replace I-5 Bridge Over Columbia River

The northbound span of the side-by-side Interstate 5 bridges across the Columbia River turned 100 years old this year.CREDIT: COLIN FOGARTY

Listen

In 2013 the Washington Legislature killed the idea of a bigger, safer bridge between Portland and Vancouver, Washington. Three years later, Washington state lawmakers could take preliminary votes to revive plans to replace the aging Interstate 5 bridge over the Columbia River.

Association of Washington Business Government Affairs Director Mike Ennis testified Monday a new bridge is “critical” to the whole region’s economy.

“This project is sometimes characterized as a Southwest Washington problem,” Ennis said. “However, I can tell you that traffic congestion due to the Interstate 5 bridge negatively impacts freight mobility and the economy not only of Washington state, but the entire U.S. West Coast.”

A trio of bipartisan bills in the Washington Legislature: HB 1222, HB 2905 and SB 5806, would create some form of bi-state work group to begin planning a replacement I-5 bridge. Preliminary votes could be held as early as Tuesday afternoon.

A previous plan would have made the new span a toll bridge.The current legislation does not specify how a new bridge would be paid for or if it would have room for light rail. The politics of light rail helped kill the deal last time around.

The Oregon Legislature has so far not reciprocated Washington state’s renewed interest in interstate bridge planning.

Copyright 2017 Northwest News Network

Related Stories:

The Interstate 5 bridge is seen here from the Washington side on Monday, Nov. 18, 2019. The governors of Washington and Oregon are meeting to announce their joint plan to revive the Columbia River Crossing project. The project seeks to replace the aging Interstate 5 bridge over the Columbia River. CREDIT: Nathan Howard/The Columbian via AP

Washington And Oregon Governors Revive Talks To Replace I-5 Bridge

Govs. Kate Brown, of Oregon, and Jay Inslee, of Washington, met in Vancouver today to announce the first formal steps to develop a finance plan and reevaluate previous studies of replacing the bridge. They are allocating $44 million to the initial effort of what could eventually be a multibillion dollar bridge replacement project. Continue Reading Washington And Oregon Governors Revive Talks To Replace I-5 Bridge

Read More »
Cars from an Amtrak train lie spilled onto Interstate 5 below alongside smashed vehicles as some train cars remain on the tracks in DuPont, Washington. CREDIT: ELAINE THOMPSON/AP

There’s Another Multimillion Dollar Jury Settlement Against Amtrak Following 2017 I-5 Derailment

An eight-member federal court jury on Wednesday ordered Amtrak to pay Madeleine Garza of Maple Valley, Washington, $4.5 million for pain, suffering and possible future disabilities. Garza received spinal injuries and broke her pelvis during the derailment of the speeding Amtrak Cascades train, which was traveling from Seattle to Portland. Continue Reading There’s Another Multimillion Dollar Jury Settlement Against Amtrak Following 2017 I-5 Derailment

Read More »
Cars from an Amtrak train lie spilled onto Interstate 5 below alongside smashed vehicles as some train cars remain on the tracks in DuPont, Washington. CREDIT: ELAINE THOMPSON/AP

Survivors Still Healing, Seeking Accountability One Year After Deadly Amtrak Derailment Over I-5

It’s been almost one year since an Amtrak Cascades train derailed near DuPont, Washington. The crash killed three passengers and injured more than 60, including drivers on adjacent Interstate 5. One year later, some of the seriously injured are still healing. The courts are just beginning to deal with the lawsuits stemming from the crash. Continue Reading Survivors Still Healing, Seeking Accountability One Year After Deadly Amtrak Derailment Over I-5

Read More »

Related Stories:

The Ice Harbor Dam on the Snake River. CREDIT: BONNEVILLE POWER ADMINISTRATION

New Hydroelectric Turbine Design Aims To Improve Fish Passage At Snake River Dams

For years, engineers with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have worked to design a hydroelectric turbine that’s safer for fish. They’ve recently installed a new design that’s improving energy efficiency and improving fish survival along the Snake River, with plans to upgrade more turbines over the next several years. Continue Reading New Hydroelectric Turbine Design Aims To Improve Fish Passage At Snake River Dams

Read More »
Chief Joseph Dam is on the Columbia River in eastern Washington at Bridgeport. CREDIT: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

New Energy Storage Project On Upper Columbia Brings Jobs — And Concerns From Colville Tribes

A new energy storage project is in the works near eastern Washington’s Chief Joseph Dam on the Columbia River. The project is expected to bring construction jobs to the region. But the nearby Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation worry it would harm important cultural areas. Continue Reading New Energy Storage Project On Upper Columbia Brings Jobs — And Concerns From Colville Tribes

Read More »