Ahead of today's hearing on the Columbia River Crossing Project, CRC proponents have clouded the debate with two pieces of misinformation.
The inadequate I-5 bridge, a known bottleneck in part because of a roadway lift to accommodate river traffic passing below, is central to a multimodal transportation hub serving the Port of Portland. The Marine Drive intersection just south of the bridge, whose rebuilding is part of the proposed CRC, serves the port, which annually ships billions of tons of Oregon-grown or Oregon-made goods to foreign markets. Freight-haulers using the I-5, the West's main north-south highway, already schedule themselves around predictable slowdowns and hours of congestion at the Columbia River. The free movement of freight along the I-5, and the ability by freight trucks to deliver to the port, are essential to sustaining and growing the Oregon economy.
12 million tons.
less than "billions."
a traffic study
Port of Portland described what is known about truck trips and Iâ5 Bridge crossing and the Port of Portland generates a relatively small portion of the trips over the Iâ5 Bridge. For this reason, no additional data were collected for the tolling and revenue study. There is no data available on the origin and destination of truck trips at the Port of Portland. It was reported that there are relatively few truck trips going to and from the Port of Portland. According to the Port Import Export Reporting Service (PIERS) approximately 10% of the 500 trips at Terminal 6 would use the bridge. (Source: Telephone conversation with Port of Portland.).
Johnson said no one has estimated the cost of seismically retrofitting the Columbia River bridges, but he believes a project would be extremely expensive. A new substructure would have to be built under the existing bridges for perhaps $500 million or $600 million, which would about equal the cost of the Columbia River Crossingâs bridge portion, Johnson said. The trusses would have to be strengthened, he said, and the drawbridge towers would need to be rebuilt for several hundred million dollars more.
"what is the cost to seismically upgrade the existing bridges?"
The Panel discussed and developed their opinion of estimated raw bridge construction costs to retrofit both bridges. This opinion ranges from $88 million to $190 million. This opinion of cost increases from $125 million to $265 million when design, permitting, right-of-way, construction inspection and management, agency oversight, and contingencies are added.
ODOT's Bruce Johnson
project's estimated cost has declined from $4.3 billion to $2.8 billion.