We've said it before, and it gives us great pleasure to say it again: Portland's Columbia River Crossing highway megaproject is dead. And this time it appears the project is finally, definitely deceased.
Oregon lawmakers adjourned this week without authorizing funding for the $3 billion-plus bridge and highway widening project. Last year, it looked like the CRC had collapsed under its own weight, and many declared the project finito after Washington state lawmakers declined to fork over their share of the funding. But project supporters weren't so easily defeated, and have spent the intervening time trying to revive the project in some capacity.
That effort was short-lived and unsuccessful, Jonathan Maus at Bike Portland reports today:
It's real this time folks. It's over. ODOT has just announced they will "shut down" the Columbia River Crossing Project once and for all.
ODOT Director Matt Garrett said in a statement "the project will begin the process of orderly archival and closeout."
Meanwhile over at Portland Transport, Chris Smith is wondering what will become of the $450 million Oregon lawmakers refused to hand over to make the project happen:
What might that look like absent the CRC? Here are a few possibilities:
The beginnings of the “common sense alternatives” to the CRC, including potentially rebuilding the Marine Drive Interchange to provide Hayden Island access from that interchange, solving a lot of problems with the current ramps on the island.
Nothing at all. After all, the $450M in bonding that the Legislature promised for the CRC didn’t actually have a repayment source identified.
Elsewhere on the Network today: The Political Environment says healthy national trends favoring transit are bypassing Wisconsin because of backwards policies. Systemic Failure reports that it looks like San Jose is going to blow a big opportunity to become a more urban place. And Suburban Assault highlights an all-too-common but still unbelievable bike parking failure.