The chairman of the Oregon Transportation Commission says he knew for weeks that projected costs of expanding Interstate 5 through the Rose Quarter had skyrocketed, but he denies any intention to hide the ball.

After WW reported the higher cost estimates, critics of the project noted the OTC was poised to vote Dec. 17 whether to move forward without further environmental review—until Gov. Kate Brown stepped in at the last minute. "The Oregon Department of Transportation continues to deceive the public," says Aaron Brown of No More Freeway Expansions.

But OTC chairman Bob Van Brocklin tells WW: "I supported a short delay in the environmental decision to allow the commission to review the updated cost estimate and make the environmental decision in a more complete context. While that's not required, I thought it was preferable."