Last month, Portland Mayor Sam Adams
, Metro Council President David Bragdon
, Vancouver Mayor Tim Leavitt
and Clark County Chair Steve Stuart wrote
to the governors of Washington and Oregon asking for a meeting "as soon as scheduling will allow." Those local pols' goal? To address their concerns have about the proposed $3.6 billion Columbia River Crossing bridge project.
The schedules for Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski
and Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire
must be pretty busy because it took until yesterday for their reply. And the two states' chief execs focused advancing the project in their response
[PDF], rather the requested sit-down.
" We feel strongly this project must move forward without delay," they wrote on Feb. 16.
And in case Adams et al didn't get the message from that sentence, the governors followed up with this:
"This project cannot afford delays. We are directing our Departments of Transportation to move forward, as scheduled, to deliver a published FEIS in
early fall to allow a Record of Decision on the refined Locally Preferred Alternative as planned," the governors wrote, referring to a final environmental impact statement (FEIS).
To address critics' concerns, the governors propose empaneling a group of experts as Washington has done for two major highway projects. No doubt, to add to what has already been a mini-stimulus program for any consultant who can spell the words "highway" or "stakeholder."