Washington Republicans: Columbia River Crossing is Dead

Republicans in the Washington Senate have taken to social media to say state funding for the Columbia River Crossing is dead.

Proponents have said that unless Washington comes up with its $450 million share of the project this year, the CRC loses its spot in line for ample federal spending on the Interstate 5 bridges, interchanges and light rail.

If word out of the majority Senate Republican caucus in Olympia is right, that's exactly what might happen.

"There's no transportation package this year. It's dead," Washington Sen. Ann Rivers (R-LaCenter) tells WW.

But Jaime Smith, a spokeswoman for Democratic Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, calls the word the transportation package is done "an unfounded rumor."

"I'm not sure where they've gotten that, because the governor's been pretty clear all along that his expectation is that the legislature passes a transportation package that includes the CRC," Smith says.

The $3.5 billion megaproject—pushed here by Gov. John Kitzhaber and Democrats—has already won approval from the Oregon Legislature. 

The news comes less than a day since Inslee's office trumpeted mitigation agreements between the CRC and two of the three companies whose business would be impacted by a 116 foot high bridge.

Rep. Jim Moeller
the special session ends on Tuesday.