Portland Environmentalists and Elected Officials Float Critique of Next Columbia River Bridge

They say transportation planners should examine the effects of transit and tolling.

City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty and Metro President Lynn Peterson say a new I-5 bridge over the Columbia River needs further analysis.

In an Oct. 21 letter to state officials, they argued the project should not make the same assumptions as the decade-old Columbia River Crossing plan, and should examine the effects of transit and tolling.

“We need to see analysis that looks at what is possible if we fully invest in transit capacity and access and integrate equitable congestion pricing,” they wrote.

Now environmental and social justice groups have weighed in—opposing any increase in the number of cars that use the bridge.

The Interstate Bridge Replacement Project “must not expand the number of vehicle travel lanes, including auxiliary lanes: additional lanes will induce private vehicle demand and will increase climate emissions,” writes Brett Morgan of 1000 Friends of Oregon in a Nov. 8 letter signed by more than a dozen other groups.

IBRP program administrator Greg Johnson defended the effort and its popularity: “it is essential that we all work together and not let perfect be the enemy of very good.”

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